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Police in the Central District are urging all motorists traveling over the coming long weekend to please drive with care.
The Labour weekend holiday period starts at 4.00 pm on Friday, 19 October and ends at 6.00 am on Tuesday, 23 October.
Additional Police patrols, including the Highway Patrol and Traffic Alcohol Group will be out in force over this period covering the major arterial highways and areas of risk within the District.
During the 2011 Labour Weekend period there was one fatality in the Central Police District and nationally there were eight fatalities across the country.
Police are aiming this year for a fatal-free holiday weekend and a reduction in crashes and injuries.
“Our staff will be highly visible over this period,” says Officer in Charge of the Road Policing Group, Senior Sergeant Kris Burbery.
“Given the number of additional staff working over this period I am sure drivers on the road will be very aware of the Police presence and have some comfort that they will be there to enhance safety and deal with offenders.
"The speed tolerance will be reduced to 4 kilometres per hour over any speed limit for the official holiday period," says Senior Sergeant Burbery.
"This means that any driver detected exceeding the tolerance will be stopped and enforcement action taken. If you break the law you can expect to get caught."
Police will be conducting mobile and stationary patrols and every driver stopped will be breath tested. They will also focus on slow drivers who may be impeding the flow of traffic, causing other drivers to become impatient and try risky overtaking.
All drivers and occupants of vehicles must ensure they wear their seatbelts and other vehicle restraints; there will be a zero tolerance around those who choose not to wear seat belts or who fail to ensure children are properly restrained in a vehicle.
Fatigue is a key risk during long trips and drivers should plan their journeys well, allowing time for possible delays and taking frequent breaks for rest and refreshments.
A ‘driver reviver’ site will be set up on SH1 at Ohakea on Monday, 22 October, giving drivers the chance to stop and take a break.
“We ask all motorists to please drive to the conditions, be focused and flexible.
“It’s all about being sensible and responsible. All drivers have a part to play in road safety and setting the standards to ensure every journey is a safe journey."
The key road safety messages are:
• Prepare your vehicle for any travelling - make sure it is roadworthy, registered and warranted
• Allow plenty of time to get to your destination - we would rather you get there safely than not at all
• Keep to the speed limits
• Don't drink and drive
• Avoid fatigue - take plenty of breaks
• Buckle up
• Don't use mobile phones while driving.