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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Be kind and take extra care on the road this weekend – that’s the message from Police and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency this Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

As people prepare to go away for the first long weekend since lockdown, we want to remind them they will be sharing the road with a lot more people than they’ve been used to for a while. And with more people comes more risk,” says Acting Superintendent Gini Welch, National Manager for Road Policing.

“We need people to remember the basics of road safety; wear your seatbelt, stay within the speed limit and drive to the conditions of the road, put your phone away, always make sure you are sober and alert. Share the driving if you can.

“This is the first long weekend the country has had since the start of the year where people are actually able to leave town as part of Alert Level 2.

“We know people will be keen to catch up with friends and family they have missed around the country. That likely means they’ll be eager to get going and get there.

“So we want to remind people that there will be traffic and there will be hold ups, so it’s important to stay calm and be patient. The important thing is arriving at your destination safely.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Kiwis have done a great job of being kind to each other. And being kind on the roads is just as vital as anywhere else.

“How you act on the roads has an impact on everybody else around you. So, let’s remember to be kind and take care of each other,” Acting Superintendent Welch says.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Road Safety Manager Fabian Marsh says Queen’s Birthday weekend is also a good time for people to move into a safe winter driving mindset.

“While most of the country has had a long summer and an unusually fine autumn, winter weather is starting to set in. We’re now seeing a drop in overnight temperatures, and more cold, wet, windy days. The change in the weather is a good prompt to think about safe winter driving.

“Ice, fog, rain, and snow can all make for treacherous road conditions, so it’s important to allow extra time for your journeys and drive to the road and weather conditions.

“It’s also important to ensure your car is safe, roadworthy, and well equipped for winter driving, with a safe spare tyre, lights, brakes and windscreen-wipers all working, and a clean windscreen inside and out.”

The Waka Kotahi website contains more easy tips for safe winter driving: nzta.govt.nz/winterjourneys(external link).

“These tips are particularly important heading into the long Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend, with more traffic on our roads,” says Mr Marsh.

Police officers will continue to be highly visible on the roads throughout the long weekend, ensuring those who are travelling are driving safely.

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