Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging motorists in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty to do their part in keeping the roads safe this holiday season by planning ahead, driving sober, buckling up and slowing down.
Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton says more cars on the road, tired drivers and people driving on unfamiliar roads can make holiday driving stressful and risky.
“We can all take simple actions to stay safe. That means checking your car is safe before your journey, keeping your speed down, driving sober, watching for the signs of fatigue and sharing the driving.
“Allow plenty of extra time to make sure you get to your holiday destinations safely. Remember, you’re on holiday, so there’s no need to rush.”
Where possible, motorists are asked to plan ahead and travel outside peak periods. The Waka Kotahi interactive Holiday Journeys map – journeys.nzta.govt.nz/summer-2020(external link) – shows when and where traffic is expected to be heavy based on travel patterns from previous years.
“In the Waikato, delays are predicted on State Highway 2 Maramarua. Further delays are predicted on State Highway 1 south of Cambridge at Karapiro and on State Highway 25 at Tairua.
“In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges, on Sh2 between Paeroa and Waihi and again between Katikati and Tauranga.
“There will be roadside electronic signs displaying estimated journey times at key locations between Auckland and Tauranga to help motorists make informed decisions about their route and ease some of the congestion.
“Traffic between Katikati and Tauranga is expected to be at its heaviest in the days leading up to 3 January, due to the Bay Dreams event in Mount Maunganui.”
However, because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour, we suggest you visit our Journey Planner website – journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) - before you leave for accurate information about current road and traffic conditions.
With fewer people travelling overseas because of COVID-19 this year, the Christmas-New Year holiday period is expected to be a very busy time on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads.
“We don’t want anyone’s holiday to be marred by an avoidable tragedy on the roads. Deaths and serious injuries on our roads are not inevitable, and New Zealanders don’t need to accept that serious crashes are just another part of the holidays.
“We’re all human and we can all make mistakes, but every one of us also has the power to make decisions which will keep the roads safer for everyone. Mistakes are inevitable – deaths and serious injuries from crashes aren’t.”
Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.
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