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Keep left focus on tourist routes

Keep left focus on tourist routes

Canterbury Police are actively enforcing the keep left rule on main tourist routes and hill areas over the next few months.

Acting Senior Sergeant John Hamilton of the Canterbury Highway Patrol said staff will be continuing to enforce the keep left rule on State Highways, especially in winding hill areas such as the Hundalee Hills, south of Kaikoura.

"Although traffic volumes through the Hundalees are often light at this time of year, it only takes one vehicle to cross the centreline to cause a head on crash, which will inevitably result in serious injuries," said Acting Senior Sergeant Hamilton.

With the expected sharp increase in visitors to New Zealand over the next few months, Police will be looking to local drivers to lead by example.

Police will also again use a large electronic message board flashing the words "Police Enforce Keep Left Rule" which is visible to all motorists entering the enforcement area.

"We have used this message board during previous operations and we find it cuts down the offending rate buy about 50 percent. Our aim is to prevent offences, rather than penalise drivers.

"Extra care needs to be taken while driving in these areas to ensure the safety of all road users. When you drive around a bend and you see a another motor vehicle heading straight at you in your lane, it may be the last thing you see."

During an operation running for four hours last week on State Highway 1 at the Hundalees, 20 drivers received a $150 infringement notice and 20 demerits for failing to keep left of the centre line on different corners - even after driving past the electronic message board.

ENDS

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