Wednesday, 8 April 2009 - 9:25am |

Visual clues road safety reminder for Easter

2 min read

Travellers heading north on State Highway 1 out of Wellington for Easter this Thursday will have a visual road safety reminder - a line up of emergency services vehicles and a coffin.

The sobering presence just north of Waikanae as northbound traffic enters the 100kmh zone features Kapiti Police, Wellington Free Ambulance, Waikanae Volunteer Fire Service, Kapiti Coast District Council road safety staff, Kapiti Emergency Medical Service, Fulton Hogan, Highway Tow Service and Waikanae Funeral Home.

A line up of emergency services vehicles, a tow truck, Fulton Hogan's electronic messages boards, bill boards, a hearse and a coffin will convey the Easter road safety message of 'Let's Not Meet By Accident'.

It's the third time that Sergeant Ron Walker, Kapiti Mana Police strategic traffic unit, has run the special visual safety operation which takes place between 4pm to 5.30pm on Thursday, 9 April.

"We're all trained to deal with some pretty nasty scenes but we'd prefer they didn't happen and that people drove to the conditions, reached their destinations and safely returned home in one piece," Sergeant Walker said.

Road policing staff will be visible on the highways and main roads throughout the Easter period, particularly during the peak travel times.

Inspector Peter Baird, Wellington District Road Policing Manager, urges travellers to plan their journeys - and to expect delays.

"The main highways will be congested, particularly State Highway 1 between Kapiti and Otaki," he said. "Delays will be a fact of life so plan for them, give yourself plenty of time, and break your journey up. Avoiding fatigue is critical."

Road users should also keep their speeds in check, ensure everyone is wearing seat belts and children are safely placed in properly anchored seat restraints, he said.

Lengthy delays are also expected for southbound travellers on Monday afternoon, 13 April, on SH1 south of Levin.

Kapiti Police and road safety partners along with Rotary are running a 'driver reviver' stop at the Waikanae Railway Station. Southbound motorists are encouraged to take a break, have a free cup of coffee, water and some Easter eggs for the children.

"The last 40 minutes of the drive home is sometimes the hardest. Do yourself, your family and other road users a favour. Stop for a few minutes and have a safety and sanity reviver. Drive to survive this Easter."

The Easter holiday road toll starts at 4pm on Thursday and finishes at 6am on Tuesday, 14 April. Last Easter weekend there were six fatal crashes in New Zealand and 135 reported injury crashes. Nine people died, 35 were seriously hurt and another 160 received minor injuries.