Stay safe on the roads this Easter


NZTA/Waka Kotahi is encouraging drivers in the lower North and Upper South Island heading away for a long Easter weekend to take some simple steps to ensure they get where they’re going safely.

Mark Owen, Regional Manager Lower North Island/Top of the South, says holidays are supposed to be fun and leave pleasant memories.

“Too often, the holiday period is marked by people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. Road crashes are far too frequent, yet they can be prevented.”

 “Wear your seatbelt, drive to the conditions, and if the roads are busy, watch your following distances and avoid unsafe passing. No one likes being stuck in traffic, but it is far better to arrive late than not arrive at all,” Mr Owen says.

He also urges drivers to ensure they’re rested and to take breaks if they’re making a long trip.

“Driver fatigue is a real danger. One small moment of inattention can have devastating consequences. Drive safe, drive alert.” 

“Also, ensure you give your car a safety check before leaving. Make sure the Warrant of Fitness is current and check simple things like tyre tread and pressure. It could save your holiday or your life,” Mr Owen says.

Traffic congestion is expected in and out of Wellington in the lead-up to the holiday weekend and also when people return.

Mark Owen recommends people time their travel to avoid peak periods.

“That will make your trip more pleasant and help reduce delays during peak travel times. The NZTA holiday journey planner has all the details on when highways are expected to be busy. Please check it out and use it to plan your trip.”

Easter Holiday Journey Planner(external link)

A screenshot of the holiday journey planner showing peak traffic times in Ōtaki

Projected Easter Holiday peak traffic times – SH1 Ōtaki

Mark Owen says there will also be a pull back on State Highway roadworks over the Easter break.

“This will run from midday on Thursday until midnight on Monday. It will cut travel delays and make it easier for people to get where they’re going. Crews will still be available for emergency call outs.”

“However, it’s essential that drivers still follow  temporary speed limits and traffic management at road work sites. Where road surfaces or other works are unfinished, temporary speed limits are there to keep drivers safe. Please obey them,” Mr Owen says.

More handy tips and advice can be found on the NZTA/Waka Kotahi website: