Motorists and insurance companies are forking out for hundreds of repairs to vehicle windscreens as roadworks and gravel roads wreak havoc across Northland.
Northern Advocate readers have reported myriad examples of chipped and cracked windscreens on state highways and roads during and after resealing work.
One windscreen repairer has reported a 30 to 40 per cent increase in work to fix vehicles – including logging trucks - damaged by flying loose metal.
Auto Mobile Glass Whangārei manager Conrad Sylva said his team has been "really busy" since April last year when the country moved out of the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown.
The company is doing 30-40 per cent more repairs, he said, mainly entire windscreen replacements in their area, which includes Whangārei and extends from Maungatūroto to Dargaville and just before Kerikeri.
Worst-hit areas are SH1 are at Ruakākā and Waipū, along with Hikurangi.
"Most of our work is coming from south of Whangārei, about 70 per cent of our work is Ruakākā, Waipū, Maungatūroto areas - those are the people getting the most issues," Sylva said.
"There's been a lot of road works, there's more traffic and people aren't travelling overseas so we've got more people on the roads compared to this time last year.
"The infrastructure is growing as well."
Sylva said logging trucks were also copping it. "We're doing them constantly, and the concrete trucks [are] getting hit as well."
Dozens of readers who commented on social media said they have collected numerous chips and have had to replace windscreens, some multiple times.
They blamed other motorists driving too fast through roadworks, and the chip not being swept away properly afterwards.
They also said the worst spots were SH1 between Ruakākā and Whangārei, further north at Hikurangi, and at Maungakaramea Rd, One Tree Pt Rd, Onerahi Rd, and Kauri.
Over on the west coast, problem spots are Pouto Rd and SH12 near Ruawai.
Kerikeri resident Zara Harris has had three chips this year, including two between Kerikeri and Whangārei. Another resident has had three new windscreens in less than a year driving between Whangārei and Ruakākā.
Wilkinson Auto Glass Kerikeri manager Caryn Leece said the stretch of state highway between Kerikeri and Whangārei was particularly bad for stone chips.
It was "noticeably worse" during summer when there are lots of roadworks.
"Northland roads are rubbish really," Leece said.
"They end up with a lot of metal on them, and also with the number of trucks on the roads, they tend to throw up metal and stones.
"After the road works have been done, the clean-up is negligible sometimes."
Leece has also noticed more cars on the road with New Zealanders visiting their own backyard because of the pandemic. Their company is getting lots of visitors from outside the region asking for windscreen repairs.
Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency couldn't say how many complaints it has received over the last year.
A spokesman said the agency "does occasionally receive complaints from motorists with respect to windscreen damage".
"This damage generally occurs following resealing work, when loose chip remains on the highway surface while the seal settles in."
The spokesman said speed restrictions are in place, initially at 30km/h, which helps new seal to "bed in" and prevents stone chips from flying into the windscreens of other motorists.
"Following this the sites are swept, excess chip is removed and the temporary speed limit is typically increased to 50km/h until line marking has been reinstated.
"We understand this can be frustrating for motorists as it is often those who are obeying the temporary speed limits who end up with chips in their windscreen, due to oncoming traffic disregarding temporary speed limits and flicking chips up at other vehicles."
Whangārei District Council received 12 complaints about chipped or broken windscreens since January 1 this year.
Four of those were on Maungakaramea Rd, two on One Tree Pt and McEwan Rds and others were on Doctors Hill Rd, Mangapai Rd, Union East St, Colenso St, Collingwood St and Wessex St.
Kaipara District Council has received two complaints in the past year, both on Matakohe West Rd.
The Far North District Council couldn't provide figures because it doesn't record complaints about windscreen damage.