Police patrols will be highly visible across the Bay of Plenty this Labour weekend in an attempt to stamp out two of the greatest road safety risks – speed and alcohol.
The holiday period officially runs from 4pm Friday until 6am on Tuesday with police advising motorists who drive more than 4kph over the permanent posted speed limit will be issued with a speeding ticket.
Compulsory breath test and licence checkpoints are being run throughout the Labour weekend period.
As part of the nationwide campaign fixed speed cameras will be active throughout the holiday period and mobile speed cameras operating during their maximum operating hours.
“If you crash, regardless of the cause, your speed is the difference between serious injury and death, or between walking away and being maimed for life,” says Road Policing National Manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths.
“One of the most effective things police can do to save lives is to enforce speed limits because research clearly shows it encourages people to slow down.”
Police are also running highly visible compulsory breath test and licence checkpoints targeting the times and places people are most likely to drink. Drivers stopped for any reason can also expect to be breath tested.
“We want people to know we’re there before they go drinking so they don’t take the risk of driving later on.”
During last year’s holiday period there were three fatal crashes and 81 reported injury crashes nationwide. These crashes resulted in six deaths, 22 serious injuries and 90 minor injuries.
The most common contributing factor for crashes during Labour weekend were losing control, 39 per cent, alcohol, 30 per cent, travelling too fast for conditions, 20 per cent, failing to give way or stop, 19 per cent and inattention, 18 per cent.
Carey says police will also check everyone is travelling with the correct restraints, including rear seat passengers and children.
“This will be a good opportunity to remind people with babies and young people that child restraints laws change on November 1.”
He urges all drivers to enjoy their journeys and plan breaks reducing the risk of fatigue.
“A high proportion of crashes during Labour weekend are caused by failures in observation or judgement, poor handling and failure to give way or stop. Mistakes like this are more likely if you’re tired.
“Slow drivers impeding traffic can be a real frustration and can lead to impatient drivers undertaking risky overtaking manoeuvres. For this reason police ask that slower drivers regularly pull over and let traffic pass.
“We also ask motorists observing inconsiderate driving to pull over and call *555, or get a passenger to make the call and report the matter so it can be dealt with by Police.”