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Drivers fail to drive to conditions

( Traffic volumes on routes to popular holiday spots are yet to peak and drivers are advised to allow plenty of time to get to their destination following dozens of vehicle crashes in the Waikato during yesterday’s wet weather.

Acting Waikato Road Policing Manager, Senior Sergeant Jeff Penno, said though the roads to the likes of Thames, Whangamata and Whitianga were busy Police believed they would get busier as people head out of the cities to enjoy New Years Eve and the holiday weekend.

“With yesterday’s heavy rain we saw 35 crashes in the Waikato, 13 of which happened in the Hauraki- Coromandel area most of which involved single vehicles.

“It appears with the onset of adverse weather drivers didn’t change their driving behaviour sufficiently to be able to drive to the conditions.”

Mr Penno said Police advised anyone intending driving to the Coromandel to accept their trip was likely to take significantly longer than usual to get to their destination.

“If drivers accept this and plan accordingly their trip will be a lot more enjoyable for everyone on the road.”

While speed and alcohol continue to be key focus points over the holiday period situational awareness and driver courtesy were also factors Police urge drivers to consider.

“If you’re towing a boat or caravan keep an eye in your rear view mirrors and where possible move over to allow traffic to pass. We don’t want drivers to speed but we also don’t want the classic ‘Sunday drivers’ out there in peak traffic unnecessarily holding up traffic either.”

One example of poor driving reported to Police yesterday involved the elderly driver of a Ford Taurus travelling between Waihi and Whangamata.

The woman was seen crossing the centre line on corners on more than ten occasions and twice oncoming drivers were forced to take evasive action.

“Given the weather and the heavy traffic volumes this was a recipe for disaster and we’re very fortunate a tragedy didn’t occur, officers will be following up with the driver of this vehicle today and we would encourage other motorists faced with similar situations to advise Police what is happening.”

Media Release from New Zealand Police on 29 December 2010



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