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Make your last long weekend getaway this summer safe and delay free

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The NZ Transport Agency wants drivers to remember their last long weekend of the summer for all the right reasons, not because of a crash or traffic delays.

Motorways and roads are expected to be very busy this Waitangi Weekend as people soak up the last opportunity to head out of town for an extended weekend, and all motorists are asked to play their part in keeping the roads safe and flowing freely.

“Delays in our usual traffic hot spots will affect some drivers but motorists can avoid the busy times and make their journey a more pleasant one,” says Brett Gliddon, the Agency’s Auckland and Northland Highway Manager.

“It can make a considerable difference to your travel times if you choose your getaway and return journey times outside of the peak times.”

The Transport Agency has produced a snapshot of highway routes, dates and times where traffic is likely to be heavy, based on data from previous Waitangi weekends. It is also available at www.nzta.govt.nz/hotspots(external link)

The busiest spot is traditionally SH1 between Puhoi and Wellsford.

“Friday’s peak runs through until 8.30 tonight. It then gets very busy again on Saturday from about 8.30am, with the heaviest peaks lasting from 9am all the way through until 2.30pm.”

For those heading south on SH1 and on SH2 through Maramarua, there’ll be heavy traffic from lunchtime Friday, with the busiest peak from 2pm until early evening.”

Heading home again both Sunday and Monday are busy times for those travelling south on SH1 from Puhoi. Heavy traffic is expected from lunch time until 5pm both days.

“Motorists returning to Auckland from the south on SH2 and SH1 can expect the busiest times on Monday from the middle of the day, so travel early to avoid delays.”

Delays along with heat, noisy children and fatigue are all factors that can lead to crashes.

Four people died on the roads last Waitangi Weekend and the Transport Agency is asking all motorists to give the road the attention it deserves to avoid more unnecessary deaths or serious injuries.

“We know the majority of New Zealanders take care on the road, but a small minority of irresponsible drivers are still speeding, driving after drinking, when they’re tired or while they’re distracted, says Ernst Zöllner, the Transport Agency’s Road Safety Director.

“This puts everyone who uses our roads in potential danger. Every single person who gets behind the wheel needs to take responsibility for their driving behaviour, only then will we bring our crash rate down.”

Here are the Transport Agency’s top tips for driving safely:

  • Ensure everyone travelling with you is wearing a seatbelt
  • Stay alert
  • Watch your speed
  • Be courteous to other road users
  • Drive to the conditions

There are plenty of ways for people to keep up to date with traffic conditions and make informed choices.

Plan ahead by signing up to www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link) to get email notifications about road and traffic conditions where you plan on travelling, or check the Traffic and Travel pages at www.nzta.govt.nz(external link)

Don’t forget to check twitter and facebook for regular updates on delays, incidents and congestion hotspots.

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