12 February 2009
With heavy rain forecast after weeks of fine weather Hamilton Police are urging motorists to drive to the conditions to ensure Black Friday is no blacker than normal on city streets.
A deep trough and deepening low is forecast to bring between 90-120mm of rain to the Waikato requiring greater emphasis on driver attention.
Waikato Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said research showed Friday was historically the worst day in Hamilton for crashes within the city.
"When you combine that with the heavy rain after such a long spell and the recent return of kids to school we don't want people pushing their luck on Friday the 13th!
"In recent years Fridays in Hamilton have been a bad day to be on the roads with five fatal, 10 serious and 69 minor injury road crashes road crashes within the city in 2007. Last year up to November we had one fatal, 10 serious and 60 minor injury crashes."
Children returning to school was a particular area of concern as drivers struggle to come to terms with larger traffic flows around schools and Mr Tooman reiterated warnings about the dangers about speed around schools.
"To lessen the danger Hamilton schools have a 40km/h speed restriction around them but despite this 20 infringement notices were issued on Tuesday for people driving too fast in these zones.
"Drivers also need to be aware of the 20km/h speed restriction that applies when a school bus is picking up or dropping off children, the last thing anyone wants is an avoidable tragedy."
Mr Tooman said next month the 13th also falls on a Friday and motorists can expect a visible Police presence monitoring driver behaviour.
"We're aiming to achieve a crash free day for Friday the 13th of March, so lets start things off on the right foot, the only tragedy we want to see at the end of this week is by how much the Crusaders go down by," he said.