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Auckland motorists warned to be patient and plan ahead

Auckland motorists warned to be patient and plan ahead this Easter

Waitematä Police are urging motorists to be patient and plan ahead this Easter and Anzac weekend, with the motorways and roads expected to be extra busy.

Police are anticipating that many people will take a 'super break' by having the three days off between Easter and Anzac day, and will head out of town to holiday spots. The Easter break also coincides with the beginning of the school holidays, so motorists are asked to be patient, drive social and plan ahead.

From 4pm Thursday 17 April until 6am Monday 28 April, the speed enforcement threshold will be reduced to 4km/h and motorists can expect an increased Police presence on the roads.

Drivers who lost control or were travelling too fast for the conditions were the most common factors in crashes last Easter. All three of the fatal crashes that occurred over Easter 2013 were on the open road. Many of the roads in the Waitematä Police district are open rural roads, including the Dome Valley and State Highways 1 and 16, areas where Police often see examples of poor driving behaviour.

"Anyone who has ever sat in traffic heading North out of Auckland, particularly through the Puhoi and Warkworth areas has probably experienced the infuriating situation where a speeding driver makes a risky passing manoeuvre, only to be stopped further up the road by traffic congestion or traffic lights. Risky driving moves and speeding don't actually get you there any quicker and you risk killing or seriously injuring other holiday makers," says Inspector Fergus.

Traditionally, State Highway 1 has high volumes of traffic on holiday weekends, and Police are encouraging motorists heading north of Auckland to consider using State Highway 16 as an alternative route.

"Drivers heading away on the Thursday night before Good Friday and on the day should plan for and expect delays along State Highway 1. Similarly, delays should be expected when returning after Easter and Anzac weekend. Motorists can also expect congestion at passing lanes and again, exercising patience will ensure everyone gets to their destination safely" says Inspector Fergus.

Police are encouraging anyone planning to get behind the wheel of a car to "drive fresh" by getting plenty of sleep before a long journey, and staying away from alcohol.

The increased Police presence on the roads will also include speed camera vans on main routes.

"We'll also be focussing on driver distraction, we know that's a major contributor to a lot of the crashes we deal with, and anyone caught using a cellphone behind the wheel can expect to receive a ticket," says Inspector Fergus.

**Waitematä Police is the district responsible for policing the entire **Auckland** motorway and highways from Puhoi to **Bombay*

RED LIGHT RUNNING CAMPAIGN

Police are hopeful that several motorists stopped during a week-long operation into red light runners throughout the Waitematä Police district might use the holiday weekend to brush up on the road code.

Over 800 traffic offences were detected across last week's operation, including 165 drivers who were given tickets for running red and yellow traffic lights.

When asked by officers "what does a yellow light mean?" several drivers answered "speed up to make it through before the light goes red."

Police wish to reiterate to all drivers that a yellow light means stop, unless you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely.

ENDS

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The polling booths have closed.

Voters have made their decisions and the counting has begun as politicians await their fate.

A total of 717,579 advance votes were cast compared to 334,558 in 2011 with 160,467 cast on Friday.

Counting of these votes began this afternoon and the results are expected by 8.30pm.

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