More than 1000 motorists took time out from their journey to and from Northland to take advantage of free refreshments as part of the Driver Reviver initiative.

The State Driver Reviver Stop, on State Highway 1 at Uretiti, south of Whangarei, yesterday provided drivers with free coffee, water, sausages, fruit and newspapers in an effort to get motorists to break up their trip home.

State Driver Reviver spokeswoman Terri van Schooten said 10 State staff manning the site at Uretiti received about 200 drivers an hour during the day-long exercise.

She said the aim of the stop was to encourage motorists to have a break during their journey.


"There's much more awareness among drivers that fatigue is dangerous and that they need to take a break."

About 1500 drivers stopped over at the site during a Driver Reviver Stop in Easter last year.

Aucklander Scott Meehan was heading to the Bay of Islands for a holiday with three friends on Saturday when he came across the Driver Reviver stop and decided to have a break with a cup of coffee and a sausage. "It was impressive, a positive initiative and well patronised. They have been doing it for a few months and I think it's a great idea."

Mr Meehan said it was the first time he had pulled over at the site, which was a good spot and a busy one too.

He noted a strong police presence on the roads in the midst of heavy traffic flow, particularly northbound on Saturday and vice versa yesterday, saying highway patrol officers seemed prepared to deal with speeding and other driver behaviour issues.

Police were generally pleased with the behaviour of drivers.

"A combination of a reduced speed tolerance and increased visibility of police on the roads has caused people to be more attentive behind the wheel and has helped to ensure people are travelling at safer speeds," national road policing manager Carey Griffiths said.