Speed caution for returning workers

OREN OAARIKI
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2014

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Taranaki police are warning drivers that they still need to watch their speed as they return to work after summer holidays.

A lowered speed tolerance imposed during the holidays would remain in force until January 31, Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said.

Police credit the lower limit for a decrease in crashes this summer.

Thety will continue strict enforcement of the the reduced speed tolerance, down 4kmh from the previously allowed 110kmh, and would like to see it become permanent, Mr McIntyre said.

"We know for a fact that the evidence shows that if you reduce speed you reduce the risk of a crash taking place and the risk of injury if a crash happens," he said.

"If you reduce your speed, people have more time to stop and more time to react."

Mr McIntyre said the slogan "the faster you go the bigger the mess", was something everyone could understand and relate to.

"That's a reality.

"We have seen the proof over the Bell Block to Waitara bypass where the speed limit has been reduced to 80kmh," Mr McIntyre said.

There had been several fatalities on the stretch of road and the lower speed limit had a significant impact in the number of accidents, he said.

Mr McIntyre said police had not experienced many problems on the roads this summer.

"The overall [driver] behaviour has been very good.

"We haven't had a high number of vehicle crashes."

Drinking and driving could be an issue at this time of year and people who drove under the influence of alcohol were more likely to be caught, with a greater police presence on roads.

"There is a greater chance that drink-drivers will be caught, they will be prosecuted and they will lose their licence."

The holiday period was also a time when people who were driving while fatigued was of concern.

Police urged drivers to make time during their journey to stop and refresh.

As well as asking drivers to watch their speed, they want people to drive to the conditions, always wear seatbelts and avoid taking risks on the road.

- Oren Oaariki is a Whitereia journalism school student

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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