Police urge drivers to stay safe this Queen's Birthday

By Te Ao - Māori News

The NZ Transport Agency, Police and ACC are urging motorists heading away for the long weekend to prepare for heavy traffic, delays and weather conditions.

Superintendent Steve Greally, police national manager of road policing, says, “If you’re driving, stay alert, be patient and don’t rush – the lives of you and your passengers are worth more than arriving a few minutes earlier.”

More than 160 people have been killed on New Zealand roads this year, therefore, the police presence across the country will be visible on highways and common open roads routes.

“Tragically, many of those deaths could have been prevented if everyone took these four simple and proven road safety actions that prevent serious injury and death on our roads,” says Greally.

CC’s head of injury prevention, Isaac Carlson says 427 serious injury claims were made to ACC during Queen’s Birthday weekend last year.

“We need to be considerate of those most vulnerable on our roads, like motorcyclists and young drivers,” he says.

Police, NZTA and ACC encourage all drivers to report any dangerous driving behaviour or other immediate risks on the road to 111.

Inconsiderate driving behaviour, or urgent but not life-threatening driving incidents, can be reported to Police by calling *555 free from a mobile.

From 4pm Friday 31 May to 6am Tuesday 4 June drivers detected by speed camera exceeding the area’s speed limit by more than 4 km/h will be ticketed, says Greally.

More tips for safe long-distance driving from NZ Police and the NZTA:

• Drive with your headlights on and be seen.

• Increase following distances.

• Avoid travelling in bad weather if you can.

• If you’re driving a long distance, take regular breaks and share the driving when you can.

• Don’t attempt to overtake traffic unless it’s completely safe to do so – it’s not worth the risk.

• If you are towing or driving slowly, pull over regularly to let other vehicles pass.

• Plan your journey and prepare for delays.

• Use the interactive map at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/holidayjourneys to see predicted traffic flow based on the previous year's Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

• Real-time travel information, as well as updates on delays, roadworks and road closures, can be found at http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.