Don't drive too fast - or too slowly

By Roger Moroney

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There will be a strong focus on alcohol-related driving, with all motorists stopped being breath-tested. Photo / George Novak
There will be a strong focus on alcohol-related driving, with all motorists stopped being breath-tested. Photo / George Novak

While speedsters will be targeted by police throughout Hawke's Bay during the holiday weekend, drivers travelling too slowly will also get the "pull over" signal.

And all drivers who find themselves stopped will be automatically breath-tested.

Mobile and stationary patrols will be out in force across the region, with Eastern District road policing manager Inspector Peter McKinnie firm on what police want to achieve during the Hawke's Bay Anniversary Day and Labour Day weekend.

The aim is a fatality free weekend, with fewer crashes and injuries.

The 2012 holiday weekend was not a good one for the district, with four road deaths as the result of a head-on crash near Whatatutu, just outside Gisborne.

While there were no fatalities in Hawke's Bay last year, the previous year was a black one, with three deaths resulting from two separate crashes.

"Our staff will be highly visible over this period," Mr McKinnie said.

"Speed is the most significant factor in crashes, so the tolerance on speed cameras will be reduced to 4km/h over any speed limit for the official holiday period.

"People need to travel at safe speeds within the speed limit and drive to the conditions, and if you are speeding then you can expect to be stopped by police."

As will drivers who dawdle on the highways, with patrols also focusing on slow drivers who hold up traffic flows.

"Slow drivers should pull over to let others pass when it is safe to do so, and those following need to be patient and wait until it is absolutely safe to pass."

There will be a strong focus on alcohol-related driving, with all motorists stopped being breath-tested.

Checkpoints will also be in operation.

Police will also be on the lookout for drivers who cross the centre line or cut corners, as well as ensuring full seatbelt use.

Mobile phone use while driving will also be on the watch-for list.

Mr McKinnie said fatigue was a key risk during long trips and drivers needed to plan their trips well, and ensure they were refreshed when they set out and allowed time for possible delays, taking frequent breaks for rest and refreshments.

Stay safe
Prepare your vehicle: Make sure it's roadworthy, with tyres inflated to the correct tyre pressure, a clean windscreen and plenty of fuel, oil, water and windscreen cleaner fluid. It should have a warrant or certificate of fitness and a current vehicle licence.

Prepare for your journey:
*Be sufficiently refreshed prior to driving.
*Allow plenty of time to get to your destination.
*Drive at safe speeds within the speed limit _ and be patient.
*Don't drink or take drugs and drive.
*Avoid fatigue during your journey _ take plenty of breaks.
*Buckle up - you and your passengers.
*Don't use mobile phones or other distracting items while driving

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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