Be­ing vig­i­lant on the roads

Central Otago Mirror - - SUMMER HOLIDAY GUIDE -

Sum­mer is a time of re­lax­ing, go­ing to hol­i­day homes, camp­ing and soaking up the sun, but stay­ing safe on the road as you head to those des­ti­na­tions has never been more im­por­tant. Trav­el­ling on New Zealand roads dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son carry higher risks mean­ing you have to be more alert and ex­tra vig­i­lant. There are more ve­hi­cles on the road in­clud­ing those trav­ellers who are un­fa­mil­iar with our roads, peo­ple driv­ing longer hours, in­creased stress, drink-drivers and peo­ple who are fa­tigued, all th­ese are po­ten­tial for ac­ci­dents. You can make a num­ber of choices to in­crease your safety on your hol­i­day jour­ney. New Zealand Trans­port Agency has com­piled a list of steps you can take to keep you and your fam­ily safe this sum­mer. Take a lit­tle time to make sure you and your ve­hi­cle are safe be­fore hit­ting the road. Al­low plenty of time – make the jour­ney part of the hol­i­day. Sched­ule reg­u­lar rest stops. Drive to the con­di­tions. Watch out for fa­tigue. Check your trail­ers and car­a­vans Check all tow­ing at­tach­ments and make sure the cou­plings are com­pat­i­ble. Also re­mem­ber to check the safety chain, trailer lights, tyres and brakes. Re­mem­ber, if you’re tow­ing a trailer, your max­i­mum speed limit on the open road is 90km/h. Keep left and pull over when it is safe to let other ve­hi­cles pass. Load heavy ob­jects evenly over all of the axles. Be cour­te­ous - let oth­ers merge into traf­fic and in­di­cate be­fore turn­ing or chang­ing lanes. Keep left un­less pass­ing. If you’re a slower driver, pull over when you can to let oth­ers pass. Be pa­tient and don’t be pro­voked by other drivers’ ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour. Keep an eye out for cy­clists and other road users. Give them plenty of space. Buckle up Chil­dren un­der five must be prop­erly re­strained by an ap­proved child re­straint suit­able to their size and weight. Re­mem­ber you’re shar­ing the road Al­ways keep a safe fol­low­ing dis­tance be­tween your­self and the ve­hi­cle in front. If you’re cy­cling or mo­tor­cy­cling, make sure you’re vis­i­ble and wear­ing proper pro­tec­tive gear. Keep an eye out for chil­dren

Be­fore you travel: Have your ve­hi­cle checked. Most garages of­fer safety checks for tyre tread and pres­sure, lights, brakes, cool­ing sys­tems and other com­po­nents. Check that your war­rant of fit­ness and ve­hi­cle li­cence are up to date. When pack­ing your ve­hi­cle, make sure ev­ery­thing is se­curely stowed.

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