Road users asked to take care on Waikato and Coromandel roads over Labour Weekend


With traffic expected to be heavy over Labour Weekend, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is advising motorists to plan ahead to avoid expected delays and allow additional travel time for their journeys where necessary.

Holiday makers travelling from Auckland to the Coromandel also need to be aware of the 90km/h speed limit in operation along the majority of State Highway 2 between the SH1/2 interchange near Pokeno and the SH2/25 intersection near Mangatarata.

The exceptions are the 6.2km Mangatawhiri Deviation, which remains at 100km/h, and 1.8km through the Maramarua township where the 70km/h speed limit hasn’t been changed. If necessary during peak travel times, the NZTA may close passing lanes between Pokeno and Mangatarata.

"During peak travel periods such as the Labour Weekend holiday break, closing passing lanes helps traffic flow more smoothly and improves safety for motorists,” says NZ Transport Agency State Highway Manager, Kaye Clark. “The lanes will be appropriately signposted and fenced off with traffic cones, but we're reminding people to obey the normal road rules by keeping left."

The Labour Weekend holiday also signals the onset of summer and longer days - which also sees an increase in the number of motorcyclists using the 'Coromandel Loop' roads for day trips.  "All motorists, not just motorcyclists, need to be aware of this and respect each others use of the road," says Mrs Clark.  "We'd like to encourage motorcyclists to check out the six top tips for keeping safe when riding motorcycles on our roads at link).  The NZTA website link) also has information for motorcyclists online and a motorcyclists’ guide, ‘Safer Journeys for Motorcycling on New Zealand Roads’. It's all about being seen, watching speeds, wearing protective gear, increasing your riding skills, maintaining a safe bike and driving to the conditions.”

The NZTA has stopped all road works activity on the state highway network over Labour Weekend to enable smoother flows for holiday traffic. This excludes any emergency work and routine maintenance activities.

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. We want everyone to have a safe journey on Waikato roads, especially over the holiday season."

Mrs Clark says this Labour Weekend, IAG for State Insurance is providing a 'Driver Reviver' rest stop at the Vehicle Testing NZ site on State Highway 1 at Putaruru.  "Motorists are driving through Putaruru this Friday or Saturday can call in and take break or a comfort stop. Free refreshments will be available including hot or cold drinks and fruit."

People can check out current highway conditions online or by freephone before they travel.  The NZTA’s website is updated regularly and it includes details on state highway road or lane closures, significant state highway road works and where relevant, detour and alternative route information.  This information is available at link) or by calling the NZTA freephone 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Editor's notes:

"Reduce the Risk - 6 top tips to help you ride safe in the Waikato" is a free pamphlet for motorcyclists, produced by the Reduce the Risk campaign.  In summary, the tips are:

  1. Be seen - wear bright visible gear, have your headlight on, position yourself behind cars so they can see you.
  2. Start slow and warm up - get used to being on the bike, especially if it's been a while since you last took a day trip; and tyres warmed up to the correct pressure will handle the road better.
  3. Wear protective gear - an approved helmet, sturdy gloves, a protective jackets, pants and leather boots; waterproof and windproof gear also helps minimise driver fatigue in wet and windy conditions.
  4. Ride to the conditions - stay alert to changes in the weather and road conditions and to hazards around corners.
  5. Upskill - take the opportunity to attend a road rider training course - it'll improve your skills and confidence.
  6. Maintain a safe bike - carry out a pre-ride safety check of your tyres, the bike chain, gear fixed onto the bike, brakes, fuel, engine oil and coolants.

This pamphlet can be ordered free online.  For more details and to see other road safety information, go to the 'Reduce the Risk' website at link).

The 'Reduce the Risk' campaign reminds drivers to watch their speeds, drive to the conditions, avoid driving while fatigued and other key messaging.  The campaign is run by the Waikato Regional Education Group,  a cross-agency collective that has been formed to promote road safety education throughout the Waikato region.  The 'Reduce the Risk' initiative is led by Waikato Regional Council in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency, ACC, the New Zealand Police and local authorities.  The key aim of this initiative is to raise public awareness of some of the most critical road safety issues in the Waikato, and in particular highlights some key facts that all road users should know to help keep them safe on the roads.

NZTA website resources: