Holiday roads warning as bad weather forecast

Police are urging motorists to drive carefully during the Easter and Anzac holidays, with bad weather forecast for many parts of the country.

A reduced speed tolerance of 4km/h will be enforced during the extended holiday period from 4pm tomorrow to Monday April 28.

National manager road policing, Superintendent Carey Griffiths, said the extended campaign was logical given many people were taking the 10 days off and would be travelling in greater numbers.

Police would be out in force targeting speed, distraction and alcohol.

"We know that people make mistakes on the road, but that shouldn't cost you or someone else life or limb. The reality is that the speed you are travelling at is what determines whether you have time to react to those mistakes - or whether you become another crash statistic," Mr Griffiths said.

"People have a simple choice whether or not to speed, and there is irrefutable evidence that reducing your speed by even small amounts can make all the difference in whether you walk away from a crash or are carried away."

Last year three people were killed in three fatal crashes during the Easter holiday period. The lowest road toll for Easter was zero in 2012.

Mr Griffiths says the goal of road safety agencies is for a repeat of 2012's result, and Queen's Birthday weekend last year, when there were no road deaths and fewer injuries.

"Since 1956, more than 560 people have been killed and 14,600 injured in crashes on our roads on Easter weekends - with 2012 the only exception when no one died. It would be outstanding if we were able to repeat that result this weekend - and beyond. That will mean fewer crosses marking our roadsides, fewer families grieving and fewer New Zealanders left with life-altering injuries."

Auckland police advised drivers heading north to consider taking State Highway 16 to avoid delays on State Highway 1, particularly tomorrow [Thursday] night, and when returning after Easter and Anzac weekend.

Northland police said every stopped driver would be breath tested during the weekend, in an effort to repeat last year's result of no fatal crashes in the region.

ACC is supporting the police speed enforcement effort, which includes an advertising campaign reminding drivers to slow down.

ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering said last year ACC received about 80 claims a day over Easter from road crashes.

"We know that the faster you go, the worse your injuries will be if you crash, so I urge all Kiwis to stick to a safe speed and drive to the conditions over the ten days of Easter and Anzac Day this year."

Police are encouraging motorists to plan their trip and ensure they are well rested before travelling. Those in large centres should also prepare for traffic congestion and delays, and those towing or driving a heavy vehicle should pull over regularly to let others pass.

 

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