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White, orange or red- the colours of Waikato road safety

White, orange or red- the colours of road safety on Waikato roads this summer

18 December 2013 - White, orange or red- the colours of road safety and the public can expect to see a lot of them on Waikato roads this summer as Police work to keep the District's roads safe these holidays.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Marcus Lynam, said with the Waikato road toll sitting at 20 deaths from 20 crashes compared to 44 deaths from 40 crashes for the same period last year, Police were keen to avoid an end of year blow-out.

"And part of that strategy is ensuring we maintain a highly visible presence on Waikato roads using both marked, unmarked patrol cars and speed camera vans as we work to prevent road trauma.

"One of the most visible aspects of our Safer Summer campaign is the introduction of different coloured patrol cars in each of the 12 Police Districts with the Waikato already having received a bright orange patrol car and a red one expected to arrive in the new year."

Mr Lynam said the introduction follows a trial in the Waikato last year which proved very popular with the media and with the orange patrol car having been on the road a week, it looks like this phase will prove to be as equally appealing.

"People have already been reported doing double takes, in fact yesterday, one skateboarder on Norton Rd was so surprised he was so busy looking back at the patrol car he failed to notice a power-pole before he collided with it.

"While we don't wish harm to anyone we certainly want to raise awareness about safety on our roads and promote discussion about road safety."

With research showing the summer holiday period was unique in terms of risks on the road, Police will be ensuring they maintain their presence throughout the Waikato's roading network.

"Based on data compiled on driver complaints and crashes over the past three years we have identified 400 high risk locations at specific times where staff will be monitoring this month and over January.

"This includes the busy routes to popular holiday spots in the Coromandel where thousands of motorists clog the roads, driving greater distances than usual, often after driving along busy motorways as they leave Auckland."

Mr Lynam said this posed challenges for drivers trying to navigate the unfamiliar winding roads while travelling with the rest of the family which can add to the driver's stress and fatigue.

"One of the key tools we will be using to prevent road trauma is by ensuring drivers adhere to speed limits with anyone exceeding such limits by more than 4km/h likely to face enforcement action.

"And now with Police driving their standard white patrol cars being joined by colleagues behind the wheel of red and orange vehicles- you'll need to be prepared to encounter Police not only anywhere at any time but in any colour on our roads."

ENDS

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