Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Easter holiday journey

Press Release – NZTA

17 April 2019

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Easter holiday journey in the North

Motorists travelling in Northland and Auckland for Easter are urged to plan ahead and follow the basics of road safety so everyone arrives safely at their destination.

This year Easter Monday, Anzac Day and school holidays all fall in the same week, which means it’s likely to be extra busy on our roads, says NZ Transport Agency Acting Director Safety and Environment, Niclas Johansson.

“At any time on our roads, following these simple rules can be the difference between a safe trip or a tragic outcome:
• Drive at a safe speed – depending on weather and other conditions. This may be lower than the posted speed limit
• Always wear a seatbelt
• Don’t drive when tired and avoid alcohol
• Focus on the task of driving – distractions can be deadly, so put your phone away and keep your focus on the road.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable during holiday periods, so we also want to remind everyone to leave plenty of time for their journey, drive to the conditions and plan ahead before leaving home,’’ Mr Johansson says.

The Transport Agency predicts traffic will be especially heavy on Thursday 18 April and Good Friday 19 April, and then on the return journey on Sunday 28 April.

Over the Easter-Anzac Day period, all roadworks, apart from weather-related and emergency works, in Northland will be on hold.

Temporary speed limits will be in place on the 2.5km alignment over the two new Matakohe bridges on SH12. This is to protect the new seal which is expected to be laid just before Easter, weather permitting.

There will be Stop/Go traffic management on SH12 at the site of a slip near Paparoa. Crews are working towards getting the road open to 2 lanes again as soon as possible.

There will also be temporary traffic lights controlling traffic on SH1 at Umawera, south of Mangamuka with minimal delays expected through the area.
There is a temporary speed limit at the site of the planned roundabout at the SH1/Loop Road intersection, where enabling works are underway and construction is set to begin later in the year.

For motorists on SH1 on Thursday, the Northland Road Safety Association is running a driver fatigue stop just north of Waipu between Midday and 4pm, weather permitting. There will be a temporary 50 km/h speed limit on SH1.
On Anzac Day, road users should allow extra time for their journeys, with short term restrictions and small detours in place near some Northland townships as processions and services take place.

Last Easter, there were six deaths from four crashes around the country, along with several people seriously injured in other crashes.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility,” says Mr Johansson. “Let’s work together to make this a safe and happy holiday break.’’
Top tips for a safer journey

• You can plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Easter holiday with the help of our interactive holiday journeys map, www.nzta.govt.nz/holidayjourneys

• The map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Easter and ANZAC holidays based on previous years travel patterns.

• Look for an alternative route, or consider leaving when traffic is lighter, either early in the morning or late at night.

• Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour, check real time traffic information on the NZTA Journey Planner website before you set off. www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz

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