The school holidays are looming and Labour Weekend is just a couple of weeks away, so an increase in traffic on our roads from this Friday is inevitable.
This year, however, there is also the addition of the Rugby World Cup with thousands of overseas tourists and Kiwi fans still following the tournament and taking in the sights of New Zealand.
Extra traffic is anticipated particularly along the main routes through Central Island of State Highways 1, 2 and 3 and Police will have additional patrols on the roads during this period.
If you are intending to do any travelling now is the time to start planning, says the officer in charge of Highway Patrol in Central District Police, Senior Sergeant Kris Burbery.
"Every parent knows how hectic it can get trying to keep the children entertained and organise trips away, so our advice is to start planning now before the school break begins.
"Think about what you need for your trip, take the opportunity to give your vehicle a health check and plan out routes and departure times that allow for plenty of rest stops.
"We are expecting extra traffic this year because of the rugby and many of these will be overseas visitors not familiar with our roads. The communities of New Zealand have so far shown rugby fans that we are a friendly and hospitable country. It would be a shame for that reputation marred because of frustrated drivers during a busy holiday break. With a little planning you can make sure every journey is a safer journey."
General tips to help your holiday trip run smoothly.
• Have your car serviced or at least do some basic maintenance checks - oil, water, wiper blades and tyres. Most tyre companies will provide pressure checks, top-us and puncture repairs for free.
• Map out your route.
• Check the weather and road conditions and drive to those conditions.
• Have a full tank of fuel and on a long trip work out in advance where you intend to re-fuel. Remember not all service stations are open 24hrs.
• Don't just re-fuel your vehicle. Take regular rest breaks. New Zealand has a great cafe coffee culture so make the most of it. Keep bottled water in the vehicle to ensure you stay hydrated.
• Make sure there is plenty to keep children occupied. Bored and restless children are a distraction and can stress a driver.
• Keep an emergency pack to hand with water, snacks, warm clothing and a first aid kit in case or a breakdown. If you have a mobile phone make sure it is fully charged for an emergency but remember it is now against the law to use it while driving.
• Don't drink and drive
• Keep your speed down
• Be patient and courteous to other road users
• To report a traffic incident dial *555
• Road safety is everyone's responsibility!