Police are asking drivers to be patient and keep calm on the roads as families travel around the country.
“As families start heading home to go back to work or relocate to another hotspot, Police are reminding all drivers to be patient, keep calm and expect delays,” says Bruce O’Brien, Assistant Commissioner Deployment and Road Policing.
This holiday period, 14 people have died on our roads as of early on January 3.
“That’s 14 families who are entering the New Year without a loved one,” says Assistant Commissioner O’Brien.
During the summer holiday period more drivers, more caravans and more campervans are travelling on our roads more widely so it’s normal to expect an increase in traffic and resulting delays.
“It’s crucial that everyone on our roads behaves safely. That means no speeding and driving to the conditions because speeding and bad decision-making on the road can have devastating consequences. Your behaviour affects you, your passengers and everyone around you so keep calm and everyone will arrive alive.
“Static (fixed) and mobile safe speed cameras, and red light cameras will be operating so drive like there is a camera around the corner.
“Fatigue is a factor in many road crashes, so before you start a long-distance drive make sure you are well rested and have had a good meal beforehand. When you plan your journey include breaks so that you can eat, hydrate, rest and stretch. You might be able to share the driving so that you both can keep focused and alert. If you start to feel tired take a break. Remember it’s better to arrive alive late than not at all.
“You also need to remember that you aren’t the only one using the road. Motorcyclists and cyclists will be out taking advantage of the summer weather, so check twice for motorcyclists before changing lanes and wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist - especially on a narrow road.
Drivers and riders need to take responsibility for themselves and other road users. All road users should respect each other and be aware they each have responsibilities to uphold on the road.
“Long and heavy trucks are also travelling up and down New Zealand, so drivers need to approach them with caution and respect. The risk of a fatal crash is too high when bad decisions are made around trucks as they can’t stop quickly and can cause significant harm.”
Police encourage drivers to wait for a passing lane or slow bay before passing especially when passing a truck, caravan or campervan.
“Remember to watch your following distances. You need to give yourself space to react if something goes wrong on the road ahead. You may not make a mistake but somebody else might.
“We want everyone travelling on our roads to do so safely wherever and whenever that may be. To deter unsafe driving behaviour Police will be out on our roads anytime and anywhere and there will be checkpoints across the country to make sure drivers, passengers and vehicles are safe. Make sure you have the appropriate driver licence and your vehicle has its proper certificates, warrants and registration before you hit the road.”
Issued by the Police Media Centre