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Highways busy for region’s holiday weekend

Highways busy for region’s holiday weekend

Drivers are being encouraged by the NZ Transport Agency to plan ahead for safer travel and to be aware of potential delays on regional state highways during Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

“Traditionally, this is one of our busiest times of the year as people pack their bags and head off to take advantage of the last break before the start of the new school year,” says the Transport Agency’s National Journey Manager, Kathryn Musgrave. “Traffic will be heavy on highways north and south of Auckland and it’s important that people are patient and ready for the possibility of hold-ups when they set out.”

The Transport Agency will use electronic signs alongside highways to help keep drivers informed on conditions ahead, and it will work with the Police to help keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible.

Mrs Musgrave says the Transport Agency supports the Police/ACC campaign to penalise drivers caught exceeding legal speed limits by more than 4kph.

“No matter the cause of a crash, the speed at impact determines how badly people are injured and there should be no tolerance for speeding when we know that the outcome can be tragic for those involved.”

Mrs Musgrave says there are several risk factors at holiday periods.

“Unfamiliar routes where driving conditions and terrain may be different, sharing the road with a lot more traffic, fatigue, heat, congestion, noisy children – they can all combine to make driving riskier. By staying alert and giving the road the attention it deserves increases safety for drivers, their passengers, and other road users,” Mrs Musgrave says.

There are several options to help people plan safer travel:-

· Check the Transport Agency’s website, www.nzta.govt.nz for travel information, or sign up to www.onthemove.govt.nz for up-to-date information about the route they plan to use; freephones 0800 4 HIGHWAYS and 0800 111 655 have national and regional travel updates

· People using the Northern Gateway Toll Road on SH1 can prepay tolls at www.tollroad.govt.nz or at 0800 402020 (the call centre will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, but is open on Anniversary Monday)

· Consider using State Highway 16 for travel between Northland and Auckland to avoid congestion on SH1 around Warkworth as people head to the popular eastern beaches.

Mrs Musgrave says it is important to remember that we all play a part in making our roads safer for everyone using them.

“We all make mistakes sometimes, but mistakes on the road can have serious or even deadly consequences. Staying alert, keeping your speeds down, being courteous and driving to the conditions are all key elements of a safe journey this holiday weekend.”

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