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Slown down on corners warn Waikato Police after close calls

Slown down on corners warn Waikato Police after too many close calls

Waikato Police are urging motorists to take care of themselves with the single biggest call for Police service these holidays being in relation to complaints of driver behaviour.

Officer in charge of North Western Waikato Road Policing, Sergeant Neil Mansill said over the past 24 hours he has personally dealt with two near misses and colleagues across the District are attending similar incidents.

"Yesterday an eastbound van on Waerenga Rd near Te Kauwhata crossed the centreline on a corner forcing the driver of an innocent westbound vehicle to have to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

"The innocent driver's car struck a bank when it pulled to the left to avoid the oncoming van and as a result the car rolled, all because the van driver wasn't paying attention."

Mr Mansill said today a car was clipped by a six tonne truck after a bee allegedly flew into the cab of the larger vehicle as the truck was approaching a corner on Waingaro Rd.

"The truck driver said he became distracted trying to avoid being stung and again an innocent party has suffered damage to their vehicle through no fault of their own.

"To make matters worse a car coming round the same corner too fast nearly collided with a patrol car in attendance at the scene. The key message right now is slow down, particularly on corners."

Mr Mansill said these two crashes followed two in the Coromandel including one on Saturday when Police travelling to Whangamata came across a collision on a corner on the Morrinsville-Tahuna Rd where one car was on fire.

"The day before six people were injured when a people-mover vehicle failed to negotiate a signposted 25km/h corner and plunged down a bank, we really need to take more care out there."

Mr Mansill said while this inattention was concerning a real positive was that driver attitudes about road safety appear to have changed for the good with motorists less tolerant of bad behaviour.

"Since early Christmas morning there have been about 357 complaints to Police about bad driver behaviour in relation to cars crossing the centreline, making poor decisions while passing or dangerous driving.

"Of particular concern, 93 of these complaints were of incidents on roads either in the Coromandel or leading to it. They include 172 cars being counted stuck behind a truck near Tairua that wouldn't pull over and a motorcyclist travelling on SH25 near Whitianga with a baby on board without a helmet."

Mr Mansill said when you consider the nature of the winding roads in the area and the huge increase in traffic flows over the summer, the Coromandel is the last place drivers should be taking any risks.

"Another area of concern has been speeds motorist are approaching and passing crash scenes.

"This week Cambridge staff attending a crash on a corner on a 100km/h stretch of road had to contend with cars driving past the scene at high speeds despite the flashing lights and hi-vis clothing worn by attending emergency staff which put the first responders seriously at risk."

Mr Mansill said should you see what appears to be an accident and emergency services have their emergency lights activated drivers should slow down to 20 km/h and travel slowly through the scene.

"In fact it's an offence to exceed 20 km/h past a temporary speed limit where accident signs are displayed. This is for the protection of not only any injured but emergency services staff working at the scene as well.

"What we're asking is for drivers to maintain their focus on the road, slow down and allow yourself plenty of room and plenty of time to get to and from your destination this summer."

End

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