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Drive Safe On The Roads These Holidays

21.12.2017

It’s a busy time on the roads during the Christmas and summer holiday season and Selwyn District Council’s Road Safety team is reminding drivers to focus on reaching their destination safely.

Selwyn Road Safety Coordinator Ngaire Tinning said drivers should allow enough time to get to their destination, drive with patience and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

“I encourage all road users to share the road, be aware of the dangers of driver fatigue, and make sure everyone is buckled up,” she said.

“A number of cars will be towing trailers, caravans or boats. There will also be more heavy trucks, buses, campervans, cyclists and pedestrians than usual. Drivers towing trailers should remember the maximum speed limit on the open road is 90 km/h. Keep left and pull over when it is safe to let other vehicles pass. It’s important to keep a safe following distance between yourself and the vehicle in front should they stop suddenly. Always give pedestrians and cyclists plenty of space when passing.”

Holiday driving often means spending several hours behind the wheel. There are simple ways to avoid fatigue and improve driver alertness. Get plenty of sleep before the journey, and try to drive at times of the day when normally awake. Plan for rest breaks from driving every couple of hours. Get out of the vehicle and even take a short walk to improve alertness. If feeling tired, take a short nap or if possible, share the driving. Use air conditioning if the vehicle has it. Cool air will keep a driver more alert and will help avoid frustration and stress, which are major causes of fatigue.

Driving can be challenging, particularly when driving longer distances than usual on busy roads and in hot weather. It’s important all drivers remain patient and calm to keep everyone safe. Let others merge into traffic and use indicators before turning or changing lanes. Keep left unless passing. For slower drivers, or those that are towing, pull over in a safe place and let others pass.

Drivers are responsible for ensuring that children under fifteen years old are restrained either in a seat belt or an approved child seat suitable for their size and weight. There is a $150 fine for each person not buckled up.

“Drive safe!”