Be patient and you’ll get there safely
"Be patient and you’ll get there safely"
With large numbers of Lions fans travelling from Wellington to Auckland over the coming week, Police are encouraging motorists to take some simple steps to keep themselves and others safe on the roads.
More than 1000 campervans, as well as a large number of other vehicles carrying fans following the tour, are expected to make the move north for the final test on Saturday.
Inspector Peter McKennie, Manager: Operations, Road Policing, says many of these will be international visitors who will stop off at tourist spots along the way.
“Most are likely to head straight up the centre of the North Island, but many will take the opportunity to sight-see on their way to Auckland, including visiting the east and west coasts.
Others might also venture north of Auckland while they wait for the final test to roll around.
“The Lions series has been awesome for New Zealanders and visitors to our country alike, with no major issues for road policing.
We want to keep it that way so that everyone remembers this event for all the right reasons, and everyone on the roads has a part to play in making that happen.
“Whether you’re a visiting British and Irish Lions fan or a local, we’re encouraging everyone on the roads to be patient and courteous and drive to the conditions.
“Many drivers aren’t aware that they can be travelling at the speed limit and still be at risk.
The speed limit is the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in ideal conditions.
It is not a target.”
Inspector McKennie says drivers should allow for the fact that some larger campervans are restricted to 90km/h on the open road, and with an increased number on the move, journeys might take slightly longer than usual.
“It’s important not to become frustrated by a slightly slower travel speed, and people certainly shouldn’t allow frustration to lead to risk taking.
“A 10km/h difference in travel speed makes a maximum difference of only about 30 seconds for every 10 kilometres travelled, so behaviours such as overtaking at high speed or when it is unsafe are just not worth the risk.
“At the same time, those driving campervans can take some simple measures to avoid the risk of those behind getting frustrated in the first place.
Pull over and let traffic behind you pass when it’s safe to do so and please don’t drive in convoy.
“If you are part of a group travelling together in campervans, then it’s much better to arrange places to meet along the way and stagger your departure times to help ease congestion and delays.”
Inspector McKennie says other key safety measures include wearing restraints, not driving after drinking alcohol and being aware of the risks of distraction and fatigue.
Lions fans visiting from overseas should also remember that New Zealand roads can often be narrow and windy, and our unique geography and weather conditions mean journeys can often take longer than they might at home.