Drive To The Conditions, Warns Canterbury Police
Canterbury Highway Patrol
Drive to the conditions, stay on your side of the road
Twelve of the people killed on Canterbury roads in 2007 to date have died when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle. Many more have suffered serious injury, with the majority of these crashes occurring on remote rural roads.
Over the last month Canterbury Highway Patrol staff, working with local North Canterbury Police, have been targeting drivers who cut corners in remote areas of State Highway 1 in the Hundalees north of Cheviot, and on State Highway 7 in the Lewis Pass.
Senior Sergeant Neville Hyland says they have been dismayed at the number of drivers either entering corners too fast and drifting across the centre line, or intentionally cutting corners. "These narrow, winding roads have their fair share of white crosses on what drivers thought were safe corners to cut," he says.
"Many drivers mistakenly believe it is OK to cut a corner as long as they can't see any vehicles coming towards them. There is no margin for error, and unfortunately, by the time you do see the vehicle heading straight for you it may be the last thing you see. It's a very dangerous habit to get into, so spare a thought for the driver and their family who may suddenly appear around the corner, and with no time to respond, hit you head-on."
Often the speed limit is too fast for the nature of the road or prevailing conditions.
His message is simple - "Drive to the conditions, stay on your side of the road when going through bends and don't risk your life or someone else's by crossing the centre-line".
The penalty for failing to keep left is a $150 fine and 20 demerit points. In some circumstances, offending drivers may find themselves in Court charged with dangerous or careless driving.