As Covid-19 border closures restrict an overseas vacation this year, the NZ Transport Agency – Waka Kotahi (NZTA) expects busy state highways in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
NZTA asks you to plan ahead, while also urging travellers to be aware of construction sites, as work sites will close from December 23 to January 5 and there can still be temporary speed limits and road cones in certain areas.
Waka Kotahi director of regional relationships Steve Mutton says: "Traffic management, such as temporary speed limits, signs and cones, is used to alert road users to a change in the road or to works ahead, so look out for the signs and take care in the run up to Christmas and during the holiday period."
He said it's particularly important for motorists to remain patient.
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"Don't try to overtake while our crews set up and take down traffic management signs and cones. When motorists disregard the traffic management, they put their safety, that of other road users and our road workers at risk."
Speeding through work sites is also a big problem as it can flick up loose metal and other objects which put road workers and other road users in danger. The high speed can also cause road cones to clip and send them flying at road workers or oncoming traffic or lose control completely.
"There will be some holiday congestion and delays, and we all need to factor that into our plans. Trying to 'make up lost time' by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone using the road at risk," said Mutton.
Even if speed isn't the direct cause of an accident, it can make a difference between someone walking away unharmed or being seriously injured or even killed.
NZTA – Waka Kotahi is committed to Vision Zero, which aspires to a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. For traffic updates visit Traffic updates: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic