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Check and plan before you head away for the long weekend

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The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging people who are heading away for the long weekend in Bay of Plenty and Waikato, to plan their travel for a safe and enjoyable trip.

“This is the last long weekend for a few months and the last one before winter really sets in, so many people take the opportunity to head away for a break, or to visit friends and family,” NZTA Transport System Manager Karen Boyt, says.

Predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and changes in driver travel patterns.

“Going online to plan your journey before getting on the road reduces the chance of experiencing delays during high traffic flows on the highway. Our online real-time highway information service(external link) will tell you whether there are any travel warnings or closures ahead. You can also check out the cameras to see how traffic is moving in and out of the city.” Ms Boyt says.

www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)

“Motorists can also find out what the expected peak travel times are on the agency’s Queen’s Birthday Weekend hotspots map to plan their travel and avoid peak holiday traffic.”

www.nzta.govt.nz/hotspots

Based on previous years travel patterns, the web page has maps and graphs showing the busiest times on state highway routes.

Bay of Plenty

The Transport Agency is predicting that the heaviest time for Bay of Plenty traffic over the long weekend will be eastbound on State Highway 29 Kaimai Range between 3pm and 5.30pm on Friday 1 June and 11am and 12.30pm Saturday 2 June. Westbound is expected to be busiest between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Monday 4 June.

State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Katikati is expected to have the heaviest traffic northbound between 4pm and 7pm on Friday 1st June. Southbound is expected to be busiest between 1.30pm and 6pm on Friday 1 June and 1pm and 4pm on Monday 4 June.

State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to have the heaviest traffic eastbound between 3.30pm and 6pm on Friday 1st and Saturday 2 June between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Westbound is expected to be busiest between 11am and 3pm on Monday 4 June.

Waikato

The Transport Agency is predicting that the heaviest time for Waikato traffic over the long weekend will be southbound on SH 1 near Taupiri and that traffic will be busy between 1pm and 5.30pm on Friday 1 June, 9.30am and 3.30pm on Saturday 2 June and 11am and 12pm on Sunday 3 June. Northbound is expected to be busiest between 4pm and 5.30pm on Sunday 3 June and 11.30am and 7pm on Monday 4 June.

State Highway 1 near Karapiro is expected to have the heaviest traffic southbound between 4pm and 5.30pm on Friday 1st and Saturday 2 June between 10.30am and 11.30am. Northbound is expected to be busiest between 11.30am and 6pm on Monday 4 June.

State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to have the heaviest traffic eastbound between 3.30pm and 6pm on Friday 1st and Saturday 2 June between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Westbound is expected to be busiest between 11am and 3pm on Monday 4 June.

Coromandel

The Transport Agency is predicting that the heaviest time for Coromandel traffic over the long weekend will be southbound on SH 25 at Tairua from 10am and 3.30pm on Monday 4 June.

State Highway 25 near Kopu Bridge is expected to have the heaviest traffic westbound between 2pm and 5.30pm on Friday 1st and Saturday 2 June between 10.30am and 1.30pm. Eastbound is expected to be busiest between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Monday 4 June.

State Highway 2 near Maramarua is expected to have the heaviest traffic eastbound between 8.30am and 1pm on Saturday 2 June. Westbound is expected to be busiest between 11.30am and 7pm on Monday 4 June.

Top tips for a safe and enjoyable Queen’s Birthday trip:

Plan ahead
Get your vehicle checked before you head out, plan to avoid peak traffic where you can and give yourself enough time to take plenty of rest or sightseeing breaks along the way.  It’s your holiday after all, so why not make the journey an enjoyable part of it?

Drive to the conditions
This isn’t just about weather conditions—it’s about the road you’re on, the traffic, your vehicle and load, your speed, your following distance, and adjusting your driving for wet and windy conditions.

Watch out for fatigue
Long trips are tiring and fatigue can be deadly behind the wheel. Get a good night’s sleep beforehand, plan in advance where you’ll take breaks along the way, and be aware of any medication you’re taking that might affect your driving.

Keep your cool
Holiday driving can be frustrating with busy roads, and restless kids in the car. So please, be courteous and patient while on the roads.  Don’t get provoked by other drivers’ aggressive behaviour, and wait to overtake until you get to a passing lane or can see enough clear road ahead of you to do it safely.  And be sure to take enough games, books, DVDs or electronics to keep the kids occupied along the way.

Buckle up
Don’t let your family holiday be marred by tragedy simply because someone didn’t buckle up. If you’re the driver, you are legally responsible for making sure all passengers under the age of 15 are securely restrained with either a safety belt or child restraint.  Children must be properly restrained by an approved child restraint until their 7th birthday.

Don’t drink and drive
The alcohol limit for adult drivers is now lower, and your judgement and reaction times begin to deteriorate after even one drink. Keep it simple – if you’re going to drink, don’t drive.

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Motorists can get real time information from:

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