Police issue Labour Day weekend road safety message

Police ask motorists to drive safely over the Labour Day long weekend. Photo supplied Nomadwiz

The police and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are asking Kiwis to plan ahead, slow down, and buckle up for a safe 2020 Labour Day long weekend.

“Many roads around the country are likely to be very busy before and during the long weekend, and we’re anticipating high volumes of traffic on many state highways and local roads,” says the NZTA’s Greg Lazzaro.

“Congestion and some delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination.”

Police Acting Superintendent Gini Welch says buckling up and driving at a safe speed are two ‘must-dos’ for safe holiday journeys.

“The biggest lifesaver you have in your vehicle is your right foot. That foot controls your speed and your braking.

“Just like physics teaches us, the faster you’re going the greater the impact. So less speed means less harm.

“The next biggest lifesaver you have is your seatbelt. If something goes wrong, that belt could save your life.”

Welch says this is the first long weekend since June, and with travel restricted to within New Zealand, there will be more traffic on the roads.

“More traffic means more risk, just by sheer volume.

“So it’s even more important to remember the safety basics like wear your seatbelt and drive to the conditions.

“You don’t need to drive right up to the speed limit. If the road is wet or windy, slow down.

“And if you’re in traffic, it’s just as important to watch your speed and your following distance from the car in front.

“You need to give yourself space to react if something goes wrong up ahead.”

Lazzaro says travel may be more spread out across the country this year with holidaymakers taking the opportunity to have a longer break either side of Labour Day weekend and exploring different regions to normal.

“Leaving at non-peak hours can make travel safer, less stressful and more enjoyable.

“You can plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Labour Day weekend with the help of our online holiday journeys map.”

The holiday journeys map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Labour Day weekend on popular holiday travel routes based on previous years’ travel patterns.