19 crashes in 24 hours on Waikato roads

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 08:41 21/01/2014

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Treacherous road conditions caught drivers napping in the past 24 hours with 19 crashes reported on Waikato roads.

Of those, seven involved cars leaving the road and crashing into ditches, banks, fences and a bridge.

But not only did emergency services have to deal to situations such as a pool on a trailer blocking a road, they also had to watch their backs as motorists sped through the scenes resulting in several close calls.

Of the 19 crashes to happen in the Waikato between 6.30am yesterday and the same time today, 10 happened in the east of the district, officer in charge of Thames-Coromandel Road Policing, Sergeant Jim Corbett, said.

"Perhaps the most time consuming crash was around midday when a trailer carrying a large swimming pool rolled causing the pool and the truck towing it to crash down a bank on State Highway 2 at Waitakaruru,'' he said.

"A man and his dog were in the cab of the truck at the time of the crash but though shaken the pair were uninjured. 

''The trailer was left blocking the road and a sizeable recovery operation was launched which stopped traffic for quite a while before one lane was able to be reopened."

Mr Corbett said while those involved escaped injury it was risky situation for emergency services who had to watch their backs as motorists ignored the flashing warning lights and signs and continued to drive at speed through the crash scene.

"This type of behaviour is simply not acceptable and motorists ignoring the warning lights and not slowing down at crash scenes can expect enforcement action to be taken."

It is an offence to exceed 20kmh past a temporary speed limit where accident signs are displayed. 

With more rain forecasted today Mr Corbett urged drivers to take care on the roads with conditions proving treacherous for some yesterday.

"Driving to the conditions is crucial, don't forget that even when it has finished raining the roads can still be slippery so drive socially, allow plenty of room for other road users and plenty of time to get to your destination."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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