Drivers heading to Hawke’s Bay from Wairoa on State Highway 2 over Easter will see two new targeted safety signs directing them to a layby where they can pull over and safely check their mobile phones.
Inspiration for the signs came from local truck drivers who alerted the NZ Transport Agency to a particular area near Tangoio where they had seen a number of road users checking their mobile phones while driving.
Investigations highlighted that this was the first area that drivers were able to get mobile network coverage after a long blackspot during their trip.
Journey Manager Oliver Postings says that driver distraction is a serious road safety issue, and that drivers who text and use hand-held mobile phones while on the road are breaking the law.
“It is illegal to send or receive text messages and calls on hand-held mobiles while driving. Anything we can do to remind the public to stay safe and focus on reaching their destination safely is a really worthwhile initiative.”
“In 2016 driver distraction was a contributing factor in 23 fatal crashes and 178 serious injury crashes around New Zealand.”
“This Easter and beyond, we want road users to stop taking unnecessary risks on this stretch of road and all others. No text is worth losing your life over.”