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Rugby World Cup - share the road

Rugby World Cup - share the road

Five Rugby World Cup games will be played in Central District and throughout this week Police will also be spreading five messages to help make your World Cup experience safe and enjoyable.

"New Zealand is anticipating 75,000 visitors from across the globe who will be travelling on our roads and enjoying the hospitality of our towns," said Operations Manager for Central District, Inspector Dave White. "We want them to arrive home after the tournament safely, and inspired with stories of a great country and great people."

The five key messages for Police in Central District are around:
• Road travel
• Anti-social and violent behaviour
• Personal safety
• Party and alcohol responsibility
• Property safety including credit card and identity safety

Today's message focuses on travel. Traffic volumes are set to increase significantly and Central District is home to some of the key highways that will transport fans between stadiums.

Many of those fans will be overseas tourists driving on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar vehicles and in many cases used to driving on the right-hand side. Some will be in slower-moving camper cans and despite the well-signposted New Zealand road network some will inevitably find themselves lost.

"Coupled with the usual messages around speed, alcohol and fatigue, we are urging all motorists to be patient with one another," said Insp White. "We hope all Kiwis, regardless of their interest in rugby, will get into the spirit of the tournament and what it means to New Zealand. We want drivers to share the road and to lend a helping hand if they come across someone who is lost or has broken down. What we don't want is for a tragic death to be the lasting memory of the Rugby World Cup."

Fatigue is likely to be a big issue with motorists travelling some considerable distance in a short space of time. Remember, a fatigued driver is an unsafe driver and regular rest and refreshment breaks should be taken on long trips.

Inattention is also a concern for Police. Drivers excited about the rugby or their holiday or unfamiliar with their surroundings can be easily distracted.

Other road safety advice throughout the tournament is:

• Drive on the left-hand-side of the road and give way to your right.
• Keep within the speed limits. Speed limits are rigorously enforced by Police.
• Drive carefully according to the weather conditions.
• Fixed and mobile speed cameras operate throughout New Zealand.
• You are required by law to carry your driver licence with you at all times.
• All vehicle drivers and passengers must wear a safety belt or approved child restraint at all times.
• If you are cycling or motorcycling, cycle helmets and motorcycle helmets are compulsory.
• Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime. Police actively enforce it day and night with every stopped driver breath-tested. Penalties are severe and your vehicle could be impounded in certain circumstances.
• Cell phone use whilst driving is an offence.
• If you are driving a campervan, you will generally drive more slowly than other vehicles. Where it is safe, please pull over to let other vehicles pass.
• For your own safety, hitch-hiking is not recommended.
• REMEMBER road sfaety is everyone's responsibility.

Useful links:
• New Zealand Transport Agency - www.nzta.govt.nz
• Tourism New Zealand - www.newzealand.com
• Automobile Association - www.aa.co.nz

Rugby games in Central District are:
11 September - Ireland v USA - New Plymouth at 6pm
15 September - Russia v USA - New Plymouth at 7.30pm
26 September - Wales v Namibia - New Plymouth at 7.30pm
28 September - Georgia v Romania - Palmerston North at 7.30pm
2 October - Argentina v Georgia - Palmerston North at 1pm


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