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Sober warning issued to drivers ahead long weekend

Sober warning issued to drivers ahead of the long weekend


by Jackson Payne

As people set out to make the most of the good weather at Easter, police will have a heavy presence on the road after last year's road toll was double the 2003 record low.

"With Easter early this year we expect more people to take advantage of the last of daylight saving," said Christchurch Senior Sergeant Neville Hyland.

"We are anticipating a higher than usual volume of traffic on the roads with three major events on in the Central Otago," he said.

War Birds over Wanaka, Race to the Sky at Cardrona, and a motor home convention at Cromwell will bring a lot more traffic through Canterbury on top of that expected for Easter.

"All we can really do is publicise -as we have done - and have a high presence on the road," said Hyland.

Canterbury and Central Otago roads are long and straight which leads to higher speeds and longer driving hours. This has police worried after last year's national toll saw six deaths and 202 injuries.

"Although we haven’t had any deaths over the last few years on Canterbury roads, there is no room for complacency,” said Hyland.

It is not only faster drivers that police are concerned about over the break.

"Slower drivers must also watch behind and when they see a build up, and are asked to pull over safely at the first available opportunity and let traffic through."

The Fire Service is urging the public to be cautious at the weekend also.

Canterbury Assistant Regional Commander, Paul Henderson, said: "The job of extracting people trapped in vehicles falls on the Fire Service and this can be quite a traumatic experience for all concerned. Our wish, therefore, is for us to have a crash-free Easter."

ENDS

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