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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

As people pack their bags to head off on their summer holidays, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is sharing a few simple tips to keep everyone safe on the roads in and out of Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

National Journey Manager Helen Harris says traffic is expected to be busy over the Christmas and New Year period, so people should plan ahead and drive to the conditions for a safe and enjoyable journey.

“More cars on the road, tired drivers and people driving on unfamiliar roads can make holiday driving stressful and risky. But there are simple things we can all do to make sure everyone gets to their destinations safely,” Ms Harris says.

“Before heading off, make sure your car is safe to drive by checking your tyres, lights, indicators, windscreen and wipers are all in good working order. People should also check the weather forecast, as well as our real-time traffic updates(external link) for any incidents or closures.

“Things can change quickly, so adjust your driving according to the conditions, whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the road.

“Keep speeds down, maintain a safe following distance, and stay alert. Always drive sober, watch for signs of fatigue and share the driving, if possible.”

Waka Kotahi will pause most road works from December 23 until January 6 to minimise disruption for holiday traffic.

“There will still be temporary speed limits and road cones at the worksites or where there has been recent road resurfacing,” Ms Harris says.

“Please take care when driving through worksites and adhere to the temporary speed limits. Remember, you’re on holiday so there’s no need to rush. Be patient and leave plenty of time for your journey.”

Ms Harris is also reminding motorists to keep the regions tidy this summer by making sure to dispose of litter appropriately.

“Let’s keep Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay beautiful and look after our environment by putting our rubbish in the bin. Use the bins at rest stops along the state highway, or take your rubbish with you and bin it when you get to your destination.

“Not only is illegally-dumped rubbish on the highways an eyesore and potentially dangerous for motorists, the clean-up can put the safety of our road workers at risk and diverts resources away from the important work like fixing potholes, repairing signs and generally keeping our roads safe.

“This is all completely avoidable if everyone cleans up after themselves, so please do the right thing and don’t dump your rubbish on the roads.

“It’s been another long and stressful year, so we hope everyone has a happy holiday and remembers our tips for a safe journey.”

Tips for safe driving on your summer holiday:

Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.

  • Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Drive to the conditions – whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.
  • Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, no need to rush.

Vehicle safety:

  • Your vehicle must be safe to drive before you set off on your summer holiday.
  • Check that the Warrant of Fitness or Certificate of Fitness is up-to-date on any vehicle you plan to drive, including rentals.
  • There are basic checks you can do yourself, including:
    • Tyres – minimum tread is 1.5mm but the more tread, the better the grip.
    • Lights – check lights work so your vehicle is visible in poor light.
    • Indicators – ensure all indicators work so people know which direction you are moving.
    • Windscreen and wipers – check for wear and tear so you can see the road safely.

For more information on self-checks, visit our website at nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/choosing-the-right-vehicle/check-your-car-safety-basics/(external link)

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)

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