Labour Day is here and signals the approach of the warmer weather. Being the first long weekend break in months, Police are reminding drivers in the Western Bay of Plenty to take extra care with their travel plans to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. Mount Maunganui and Tauranga beaches are the destination for many and Police expect high traffic volumes on Friday and Saturday as visitors make their way to the jewel of the Bay of Plenty and again on Monday as holiday makers head home. Police anticipate significant traffic volumes on State Highways 29 over the Kaimais and State Highway 2 from Waihi to Tauranga City and urge drivers to focus on their driving and keep distractions to a minimum.
Labour Day Weekend officially starts at 4pm on Friday 21 October and ends at 6 am on Tuesday 25 October. During Labour Day Weekend 2015, five people died and 21 people were seriously injured in crashes on our roads. Some of the most commonly cited….. contributing factors for crashes over the weekend included drivers losing control, travelling too fast for the conditions, drink driving, and failing to give way, stop or keep left.
This year, extra police staff have been rostered on to patrol so drivers can expect a high level of visibility of Police staff on the roads. “Police will be out in force on our State Highways and main roads,” says Senior Sergeant Ian Campion, Western Bay of Plenty Road Policing. “Motorists should expect delays and allow plenty of time for travel to their destination.” Police will be focusing on excessive speed, checking that everyone is wearing their seat belt or restraint correctly and drivers are not using mobile phones .
“If you are involved in a crash, regardless of the cause, speed is the single factor that most affects the outcome. It’s the difference between serious injury and death, being maimed for life or walking away.”
As per previous long holiday weekends, speed cameras will be positioned in high risk crash areas and set to enforce a reduced speed threshold of 4 km/h over Labour Day weekend. “In addition, we’ll also be running a number of checkpoints at critical spots around the area,” Senior Sergeant Campion says. “Nationally, the crash risk for fatal/serious crashes is 14 per cent higher over Labour Day weekend, so we’re asking all drivers to plan ahead to help make their holiday travel safer and to be patient drivers.”
There are several ways you can help yourself and others to stay safe on the roads, including:
• Watch your speed
• Allow extra time for your journey so you are not having to rush
• Reduce your speed in the wet or where visibility is reduced
• Maintain following distances
• Be a legend – stop mates and whänau driving drunk
• Make the journey part of your holiday – plan breaks and take your time
• Make sure you and everyone in your car wears a seatbelt or has the appropriate restraint
• Drive considerately – the way we drive affects others
If towing, or driving slowly, regularly pull over to allow other vehicles to pass, as impeding traffic can cause frustration and prompt other drivers to undertake risky overtaking manoeuvres. If you observe inconsiderate or unsafe driving behaviour, call *555 and report it so it can be dealt with by police.