Caution, traffic on the mooove

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Drivers are warned to be on the look out for stock moving, and increased drivers on the road ahead of Queen's Birthday weekend.

Drivers are being urged to be extra cautious on the road with the annual dairy moving day under way nationwide, and the steady build up of traffic heading into – and during – Queen’s Birthday weekend.

National transport agency Waka Kotahi say extra caution is needed, and reminded farmers to make safety a top priority when moving dairy livestock between farms.

Waka Kotahi journey manager for Canterbury Tresca Forrester said drivers need to take care on highways, especially in and around Canterbury.

Canterbury has close to half of the South Island’s dairy herds.

Many cows will be herded along roads if it’s only a short distance between the farm they are leaving and the one they are going to, she said.

She said for travellers, planning their journey ahead of the long weekend and ensuring vehicles are safe for the trip were two of the most effective things people could do to avoid a long-weekend tragedy.

Waka Kotahi director of land transport Kane Patena said everyone should get where they are going safely – whether they are walking, cycling, driving, motorcycling or using public transport.

“It’s our friends and whānau whose lives we’re talking about.” 

Planning your journey well and checking that your vehicle is roadworthy before heading out on the road are the first important steps.

The Waka Kotahi have a journey planner which is a practical tool for checking travel time information, finding the best route and getting updates on roadworks and closures.

The online tool gives traffic and congestion predictions based on previous years’ travel patterns.

Plan for longer journey times, and take practical steps like sharing the driving to avoid the risk of a crash from fatigue. No one should be killed or seriously injured on our roads,” Mr Patena says.

WorkSafe is also urging those not on holiday for the long weekend to keep safety top of mind on the road.

WorkSafe’s director engagement and implementation Angela Mansell said for many people work continues over the long weekend, so to those who are travelling as part of their work or using vehicles for their jobs, remember the higher traffic flow and make sure you and your employer have considered all the risks this might add on top of your normal risk assessment.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with traffic updates online at journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic or by phoning 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).