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Plan ahead to stay safe and avoid delays on our roads

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It’s no secret that the Coromandel is a popular destination at this time of year, hosting visitors for numerous events and activities - with many travelling by car or motorcycle on State Highway 25 to enjoy the festive season.

State Highway 25 is 270km's of winding and hilly roads with 983 curves, give or take a few.

Thames Police Officer, Constable Catherine Sell, and our Road Safety Co-ordinator, Ingrid Le Fevre, have been working together to promote an awareness of the road safety campaign 'Stay Alive On 25.’ In their roles they both saw too many people being injured or killed in their area, and they want to reduce the risk of people suffering from the trauma that crashes cause.

"The number of road users on SH25 is increasing and we don’t want the number of crashes to follow," says Constable Catherine Sell. "Every serious crash has a traumatic effect on victims and their families. We don’t want to see any more families missing their loved ones at Christmas."

High risk driver behaviour such as crossing the centreline and overtaking in unsafe places cause 93% of all serious and fatal crashes on the Coromandel Loop.

"Stay Alive on 25 is a simple campaign about the basics," says Ms Le Fevre. "Keep to your side of the road, drive to the conditions, slow down on our winding roads, keep your water bottle in the car, stay off your cellphone, plan your trip with rest stops and stay safe."

The campaign targets road users by creating awareness of the challenges SH25 presents. It also highlights the importance of taking regular breaks from driving.

"Summer is always busy across our district so congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times," says Ms LeFevre. "But if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely. We want people to reach their destinations safely, we want you here for Christmas."

The NZ Transport Agency has developed a tool that shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys based on travel patterns from previous years which includes the Coromandel. It can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/holidayjourneys.

Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour, we suggest that you check here before you leave for accurate information about current road and traffic conditions. Our Civil Defence team have spent the last few days analysing a complex weather system which could impact travel, read more here.

Police will also be keeping an eagle-eye on traffic speeds over the summer, warning tickets will be handed out for those who exceed the limit. Over the holiday period - between 4pm today and 6am on January 7 - anyone travelling more than 4km/h over the speed limit will be ticketed. Read more here.

When driving this summer, take care to:

Drive to the conditions, whether it’s the weather, the time of day or amount of traffic.

Take regular breaks to stay alert and ensure fatigue doesn’t affect your driving.

Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.

Be patient - overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.

Allow plenty of time, remember you are on holiday and avoid the need to rush.

Check your car is in good "health" before you head off.

Share the road with cyclists.

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