Source: New Zealand Transport Agency
Waka Kotahi is asking drivers to be extra cautious, and farmers to make safety a top priority when moving dairy livestock between farms – an annual event which generally starts from 1 June.
Canterbury has close to half of the South Island’s dairy herd.
Tresca Forrester, Waka Kotahi Journey Manager for Canterbury, says drivers need to take care on highways this week and over Queens Birthday Weekend, especially in South Canterbury. Many cows will be herded along roads if it’s only a short distance between the farm they are leaving and the one they are going to.
Use the most direct route to move stock and only cross or follow the road if it is necessary. Move stock during daylight hours and avoid doing this at peak morning and afternoon travel times. Keep stock off well maintained road verges where possible and safe to do so.
People involved in driving stock must wear high visibility clothing to ensure they can be clearly seen by road users, warning signs should be used and flashing amber beacon lights activated on vehicles that are part of the droving operation.
Particular care is needed when moving stock on roads with bends. Signs or a pilot vehicle with a flashing amber beacon will be needed around the corner, to warn motorists of stock ahead.
If moving machinery, drive slowly and, if necessary, have a pilot vehicle to warn road users of the wide vehicle following.
Know your legal obligations around driving livestock along or across a road.
Stock truck drivers are reminded to use stock truck effluent waste disposal sites, to minimise spillages on the both the highway and local roads.