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'Be patient': Police make plea to drivers as holidaymakers head home

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Apr 2024, 2:08PM

'Be patient': Police make plea to drivers as holidaymakers head home

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Apr 2024, 2:08PM

Holidaymakers are being urged to be patient as they return home from their Easter vacations.

In Auckland, northbound lanes between the Bombay Lanes and Manakau are tipped to be packed between midday and 6pm according to NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

The roads are expected to be at their busiest between 3pm and 4pm.

Southbound lanes between Puhoi and Welsford are expected to be relatively clear, with some traffic between 3pm and 4pm.

In the South Island, those coming into Christchurch from Ashburton will hit heavy traffic starting from midday until 7pm, peaking between 3pm and 6pm.

Those heading eastbound on SH79 in Geraldine will be stuck in a jam from midday until 5pm.

Authur’s Pass will also be busy, with traffic tipped to be heavy between 12pm and 4pm.

In Wellington, traffic is expected to be free-flowing according to NZTA.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corrigan said today would be “perfect for driving” with dry skies and a bit of cloud.

“You’d be very unlucky to see any rain today no matter where you are in the country, I suppose,” Corrigan said.

The lack of rain will keep the roads dry and cloud cover keep the sun out of the driver’s eyes and passengers nice and cool Corrigan said.

“The animal pals travelling with them, they always appreciate when the sun isn’t beating down on them,” Corrigan said.

Waikato police have urged caution amongst motorists after a swathe of tractor crashes this holiday period.

A crash between a motorcycle and a tractor led to the death of a motorcyclist on Piakonui Rd in Richmond Downs on Saturday.

Just 10 minutes earlier on Oparure Rd near Te Kuiti, two people were seriously injured after a crash with a tractor.

At 9.45pm that night, a tractor collided with a car at the intersection of Pond Rd and State Highway 29 in Matamata-Piako district.

“Initial enquiries indicate the tractor had gone through a stop sign and crashed into an oncoming car,” a police spokesperson said.

Four people were in the car and one was injured seriously.

A police spokesperson acknowledged it was “frustrating” being stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle, but asked motorists to be patient.

Seven people have died in four crashes on New Zealand roads over the Easter weekend, with multiple others suffering serious injuries.

It is the highest Easter holiday road toll since 2021, when seven people were killed.

The official Easter holiday period began at 4pm on Thursday and ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Only one person was killed on New Zealand roads during the Easter period last year and five people died over Easter in 2022.

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