Police to be out in force at weekend

Extra police will be on patrol this Labour Day, and drivers are urged to plan their journey to ensure safe travel this holiday weekend.

Labour Weekend officially starts at 4pm tomorrow and ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Over the past five years, there have been two fatalities and 19 people injured in crashes on Otago and Southland roads over the Labour Weekend period.

Acting Southern district road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking, of Dunedin, said police would be highly visible and focusing on excessive speed and drink-driving, and also checking that everyone travelling was wearing correctly fitted safety belts.

A reduced speed tolerance will be in place over the weekend, anyone travelling 4km or more over the speed limit being liable for an infringement notice.

Additional speed cameras would also be deployed on the highway network, Snr Sgt Larking said.

''Everyone stopped will be breath-tested and we'll also be running a number of checkpoints at critical spots around Southland and Otago,'' Snr Sgt Larking said.

Motorists were also urged to drive to the conditions if there was poor weather.

Across New Zealand over Labour Weekend last year there were three crashes resulting in the death of six people, while 17 people were seriously injured and there were 64 minor-injury crashes.

The total cost of these crashes was about $37 million.

Tips for drivers
This Labour Day motorists should.
- Make sure their warrant and registration are up to date.
- Check tyres, particularly on boats, trailers and caravans, before heading away.
- Avoid the worst peak traffic periods - for example, on Friday afternoon, when holidaymakers are sharing the highway with workers heading home.
- Not drink and drive.
- Maintain safe following distances and be patient.
- Be aware of the weather - if the weather conditions are bad, drive to the conditions.
- Not allow distractions such as eating, drinking and passenger conversations to interfere with the primary task of driving.
Source: NZ Police/NZTA


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