Stay safe on South Island roads this Labour Weekend


Roads in Canterbury and the West Coast will be busy this Labour Day Weekend and the NZ Transport Agency says it will be working with the Police to keep traffic moving and families safe on their travels during the holiday break.

“With more traffic on the road as people celebrate their first long weekend break after winter, driving can be more stressful and more risky,” says the NZ Transport Agency’s Southern Regional Director Jim Harland.

During the past five years, four people have died and another 15 have been seriously injured in Labour Weekend crashes on roads in Canterbury and the West Coast.

Excessive speeds has been a contributing factor is too many of those crashes, says Ms Harland.

“Statistics don’t tell the story of the huge impact on family and friends when loved ones have been killed or seriously injured. We all have a responsibility to look after ourselves and our families, as well as others we share the road with. 

“Speed limits are not a target.  They are the maximum speed that people can travel safely on any given road when driving conditions are ideal. When traffic is heavy during the holidays and driving conditions are less than ideal a safe speed might be lower than the posted limit. We’re urging everyone to be patient, relax, and enjoy the journey.”

The Transport Agency will stop all maintenance work for the holiday weekend unless there is an emergency. 

“Our weekend shutdown will help keep traffic flowing smoothly, but we do ask people to observe speed limits and watch their following distances through work sites.”

Speed restrictions are expected to be in place on State Highway 75 at Little River and Barry’s Bay.

“Planning before leaving home together with careful and considerate driving will help people reach their destinations safely, enjoy the spring break, and then have a safe trip home,” says Mr Harland.

NZTA’s top tips for a safe Labour Weekend

  • Before hitting the road, take the time to check your vehicle is safe – check the tyres, indicators and lights.
  • Allow plenty of time for travel – slow down and make the journey part of the holiday.
  • Take regular breaks from driving to avoid fatigue.

For the latest on highway conditions, motorists are encouraged to visit the link) website or phone the Transport Agency’s 0800 4 HIGHWAYS info line.


For more information please contact:

Jan McCarthy
Media Manager - Christchurch
T:   64 3 964 2885
M:  021 427 442