Make this a safe Easter weekend


The NZ Transport Agency is reminding drivers to ensure they are well rested and well prepared before heading out on the region's roads this long weekend.

NZTA State Highway Manager Kaye Clark asks that drivers take the time to plan ahead and allow extra travelling time for a safe trip ahead of Easter weekend.

Holiday makers travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula can avoid long delays at the Kopu Bridge by varying travelling times or taking a different route.

When delays over Kopu Bridge exceed 45 minutes a message board at the intersection of State Highways 2 and 25 will advise motorists to continue travelling on State Highway 2 and follow a sign-posted alternative route to Coromandel via State Highway 26.

Mrs Clark says, "Although this route is approximately 30 minutes longer, it can reduce travel time for motorists during peak periods when queues at Kopu Bridge can cause delays of up to two hours. Taking the alternative route is especially recommended for people transporting stock or travelling with young children or pets."

With Easter Monday and ANZAC Day falling on the same day this year, there is also the possibility for a higher volume of traffic on the road than normal, as holidaymakers return home.

For this reason, traffic management measures will be in place along SH2 Maramarua on Monday 15 April. The passing lane for westbound traffic near the Maramarua Golf Club will be closed between 10am and 7pm.
Mrs Clark says, "The important thing is to reach your destination safely. Even if it takes a little longer to get there, please be patient, keep your speeds down and take regular breaks on long journeys."
Alternative Route from Auckland to the Coromandel:

Continue on SH2 until Hubbard Road, approximately two kilometres north of Paeroa. Turn left into Hubbard Road, and then left again at the end of the road onto SH26 and continue north to the Coromandel Peninsula.

This alternate route will be clearly signposted.

Tips to help you avoid driver fatigue:

  • Get a good night's sleep before driving, preferably eight hours
  • Avoid driving during the hours when you would normally be sleeping or napping
  • Make sure you are fully awake before driving following a period of sleep
  • Share the driving when possible
  • Don't drink even small amounts of alcohol. It will make fatigue much worse
  • When taking long trips, plan your journey to include rest breaks
  • Ensure you get plenty of fresh air
  • Snack on light, fresh foods. Rich, heavy meals and sugar can make you tired
  • If possible, avoid driving for several days following long-distance air travel
  • Take a friend with you on your trip who will help you stay awake

You may be suffering from driver fatigue if you:

  • Have trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or holding your head up
  • Are daydreaming, having wandering or disconnected thoughts, or loss of memory
  • Are yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
  • Are drifting from your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits
  • Are feeling restless and irritable

If you're driving, make sure you keep an eye out for cyclists and other road users. Give them plenty of space. Watch out for horses on back country roads. If you're cycling or motorcycling, make sure you're visible and wearing proper protective gear. If you're towing or driving slowly, keep an eye on what's behind you. Pull over safely to let traffic pass.