Police tighten weekend speed tolerance margin

By Roger Moroney

Hawke's Bay police will mount a high-profile "out in force" approach on the region's roads during the Labour Weekend holiday with a simple aim in mind - no deaths.

Three people died on the Bay's roads during last Labour Weekend and police do not want to see a repeat.

Eastern Road Policing Manager Inspector Chris Wallace said patrols would be out in force during the holiday period which runs between 4pm today and 6am next Tuesday, October 23.

Police had limited the number of staff on leave during the weekend - "so that we have as many people on hand as possible".

He said patrols would be taking a no-nonsense approach in targeting the two leading causes of injury and death on the roads - alcohol and speed.

But motorists driving too slow and impeding other traffic, which often led to risky overtaking manoeuvres, would also come under the spotlight.

So will people not wearing seatbelts, and especially drivers who fail to ensure children were not properly restrained.

"Zero tolerance," was how he summed it up.

Mobile and stationary patrols would be out on the roads and all drivers stopped would be breath-tested on the spot, Mr Wallace said.

One of the front-line staff out on the roads this weekend, Sergeant Clint Adamson, echoed that: "We will be in town and on the open roads as much as we can. You can expect to see the booze bus out and about anywhere and at any time."

Drivers had been warned that the speed tolerance would be reduced to 4km/h over any posted speed limit for the holiday period.

"Any driver detected exceeding that can expect to be stopped - if you break the law you can expect to be caught," Mr Wallace said.

Fatigue was a key risk during long trips and drivers needed to plan their journeys well, allowing time for possible delays and taking frequent breaks for rest and refreshments.

"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 making sure that every journey is a safe journey."

He said police liked to think positively, and that 99 per cent of people would travel without incident.

"But a small minority make a bad decision and that can lead to an accident."


  • Prepare your vehicle for any travelling - make sure it is roadworthy, registered and warranted.

  • Allow plenty of time to get to your destination - police would rather you got 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.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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