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Waikato & Bay of Plenty: Plan ahead and drive safely this Labour Day weekend

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The NZ Transport Agency says everyone has a role to play in keeping people safe on our roads this Labour Day weekend.

Roads across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty are expected to be busy from Friday as people make the most of the first long weekend break after winter. 

“Increased traffic volumes, tiredness and driving in unfamiliar environments can make driving over these long weekends not only more stressful but also more risky,” says the Transport Agency’s Safety Director Ernst Zöllner.

“Remember you’re sharing the road with many others, you have a responsibility to be courteous and patient to ensure you look after yourself, your families and other road users.”

Many of the roads around holiday destinations are narrow and winding and that makes the consequences of making a mistake potentially more dangerous. 

“These types of roads are not designed for high speeds so adjust your driving to avoid mistakes and make it easier to manoeuvre out of those mistakes if they do happen,” Mr Zöllner says.

“Don’t think of the speed limit as a target to aim for, instead drive at a speed that is safe for the type of road, the weather conditions and the number of vehicles on the road.” 

“Think of the time getting to your destination as part of your ‘weekend away’, make the most of being together with friends or family even if it is in the car, relax and enjoy your journey, that way everyone’s more likely to arrive safely.” 

The Transport Agency has compiled a snapshot of traffic hotspots based on previous Labour Weekend congestion. 

Download the Labour Weekend congestion hot spot. [PDF, 192 KB]

The maps are designed to help motorists plan ahead and avoid travelling during the times congestion is predicted to be heaviest. 

To minimise delays road works around both regions will be stopped from midday Friday  until 10am on Tuesday. 

People travelling around the Coromandel Peninsula area can expect to see contractors with stop/go traffic signs in Paeroa, Kopu and Tairua at peak times over the weekend. 

The traffic management will help keep people moving through key intersections safely. 

For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can sign up to On The Move at  www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link) 

People travelling around the Bay of Plenty region can go to www.drivelive.nz/tauranga(external link),  a dedicated website that tells people what the current journey times are to get to key places. 

For real time information on highway conditions and incidents  or to report issues on the network visit www.nzta.govt.nz(external link) call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or follow @nztawaibop on twitter. 

The Transport Agency’s top tips for a safe Labour Day Weekend

  • Take the time to check your vehicle is safe –tyres/ spare tyre, indicators, windshield wipers, lights.
  • Allow plenty of time – make your journey part of the holiday.
  • Rest stops are important for the driver and passengers.
  • If possible, share the driving.
  • Many drivers will be on unfamiliar roads,(external link) so please be patient as we are all in this situation at some stage.
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