Strong police presence on roads

New Zealand police will be out in force through the Christmas holidays, and are reminding drivers to be on their best behaviour.

Police will be on the lookout for drink-driving, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and improper seatbelt use, according to a media release from national manager of road policing Superintendent Carey Griffiths.

Last year there were 19 people killed and 400 injured on New Zealand roads during the Christmas holiday period, including four deaths and more than 40 injuries from crashes in Canterbury.

"Driving is a skill that requires our full focus, as you literally have your own life and those of passengers and other road users in your hands," he said.

"Already there have been a number of fatal crashes in the lead-up to the holidays that have left families and loved ones devastated."

Drivers will need to exercise patience and caution on the roads, as traffic volumes will increase and more cars will be towing trailers, boats and caravans, Canterbury police Senior Sergeant Phil Newton said.

Towing vehicles have a reduced speed limit of 90kmh.

Pull over and allow others to pass if a queue is developing, and if overtaking, be sure there’s proper visibility and enough clear road to do it safely, he said.

There will also be a 4kmh reduction in tolerance for driving over the speed limit, effective today through January 7.

Drivers should expect to encounter speed radar and speed cameras, as well as roadside checkpoints for alcohol and drug testing.

The Timaru Herald