The NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to be patient and slow down when risks are higher on the roads this long weekend.
“Highways and holiday hot spots are likely to be chocker at times as people celebrate the first long weekend break after winter, and that can make driving more stressful and more risky,” says the Transport Agency’s Road Safety Director Ernst Zöllner.
Over the past five years 32 people have been killed and nearly 600 more have been injured in Labour Weekend road crashes.
Mr Zöllner said in too many crashes travelling at speeds that are too fast for the type of road or the conditions has resulted in fatalities and serious injuries that could have been avoided. The Transport Agency is urging drivers to slow down, especially where and when the risks of things going wrong are higher than usual.
“Many of the roads around our favourite holiday spots are narrow or winding. There is little room to get out of trouble if someone makes a mistake, and the faster you travel the more serious the consequence of any crash will be. Even on our safest roads the impact of a crash at 110km/h is much higher than at 100km/h, and on our less forgiving roads without paved shoulders or with trees and other objects near the roadside a crash that might be survivable at 80km/h could well be fatal at 100km/h.
“When traffic is heavy during the holidays and driving conditions are less than ideal the safe speed to travel will be lower than usual.
We’re urging everyone to be patient, relax, enjoy the journey and drive at a speed that’s safe for the more challenging Labour weekend conditions.”
Mr Zöllner said the Transport Agency would be working with the Police and local authorities to keep traffic moving and keep families safe on their travels during the holiday break.
“Statistics don’t tell the story of the huge impact on family and friends when loved ones have been killed or seriously injured. We all have a responsibility to look after ourselves and our families, as well as others we share the road with.”
NZTA’s top tips for a safe Labour Weekend
For more information please contact:
NZ Transport Agency
T: 04 894 6285
M: 021 276 3222