Calls for fatal free weekend

In the past five years, 11 people have died and another 31 were seriously injured in Labour Weekend Crashes on Bay of Plenty/Waikato Roads, prompting a safe driving call.

Roads in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty will be surging with holidaymakers heading away for Labour Day weekend and the Transport Agency says it will be working with the police to keep traffic moving and families safe.

Works at the SH2/ SH25 roundabout.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Regional Director, Harry Wilson, says planning before leaving home, together with careful and considerate driving would help people reach their destinations safely.

“We want people to enjoy the break and get home safely.

“Extra traffic on the road can make driving stressful and more risky, which is why we are urging people to be patient, relax, and enjoy the journey.”

Harry says excessive speed has been a contributing factor in too many of those crashes from the past.

“Statistics don’t tell the story of the huge impact on family and friends when loved ones have been killed or seriously injured.

“We all have a responsibility to look after ourselves and our families, as well as others we share the road with.  

“Many of the roads around our favourite holiday spots are narrow or winding. There is little room to get out of trouble if someone makes a mistake, and they are not designed to be safe at high speeds.

“The Agency urges people to drive at a speed that’s safe and appropriate for the road rather than trying to target the limit.”

Harry says motorists should expect some delays when travelling through a worksite at the intersection of SH2/ 25 north of Mangatarata in Hauraki District, where a roundabout is being built to replace the old T-intersection.

“Transport Agency contractors will have the roundabout island in place and operating this weekend when traffic will be heavy, going to and from Coromandel Peninsula.

“There will be two lanes operating for SH2 and SH25 north-bound traffic on the roundabout with a merge further along SH2.”

Traffic management will be in place over the weekend to help keep things moving but some delays are still expected.

Another big Waikato roundabout job, further south at Tirau, is nearing completion and although speed restrictions will remain in place traffic will be able to move freely through the intersection of SH1 and SH5 there.

Two sections of the Waikato Expressway project under construction – at Rangiriri and around Cambridge – also involve speed restrictions but no delays are expected.


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