Tak­ing a break vi­tal when driv­ing

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

A hot drink, sausage siz­zle and soup pro­vided a wel­come break for driv­ers pass­ing through Nga¯hi­napo¯uri on Sun­day, many on their way back from a week­end at the snow.

More than 200 peo­ple made use of the fa­tigue stop pro­vided by Waipa¯ Dis­trict Coun­cil, Broad­spec­trum and lo­cal Po­lice, which en­cour­aged driv­ers to take reg­u­lar breaks to avoid fa­tiguere­lated crashes. A sim­i­lar stop was in Piron­gia in July.

Coun­cil’s road safety co­or­di­na­tor Me­gan Jolly said 4 per cent of crashes in the Waipa¯ last year were re­lated to fa­tigue, and it was im­por­tant that driv­ers take a break, espe­cially when trav­el­ling long dis­tances. In 2017 fa­tigue was a fac­tor in 32 fa­tal crashes and 100 se­ri­ous in­jury crashes na­tion­ally.

“There are lots of driv­ers pass­ing through the dis­trict at this time of year on their way to the moun­tain and be­yond,” says Me­gan.

“Waipa¯’s ru­ral roads are of­ten un­fa­mil­iar to them and in wet or dark con­di­tions can be par­tic­u­larly treach­er­ous af­ter a long day. Peo­ple need to re­alise the huge risk they are tak­ing and the huge risk to peo­ple they are shar­ing the road with, when they drive tired.”

Vol­un­teers from the Te Awa­mutu Col­lege SADD group and the Nga¯ hi­napo¯ uri School PTA handed out re­fresh­ments and in­for­ma­tion to driv­ers, in­clud­ing dif­fer­ent strate­gies they could use when feel­ing tired.

“Catch­ing up on lost sleep be­fore you travel and stopping for just 10 min­utes ev­ery two hours can make a big dif­fer­ence,” says Me­gan.

More in­for­ma­tion to help with long trips is at www.re­ducetherisk.co.nz/ fa­tigue

Photo / Sup­plied

Katie Barr from Broad­spec­trum with Zane, Gabe, Ida and Quinn at the Piron­gia rest stop.

Photo / Sup­plied

Chloe Sch­wass from Te Awa­mutu Col­lege SADD group with trav­ellers Wes­ley Ryan, Denise Yeo, Han­nah Wid­jaja, Michelle Chung and Jonathon Wong.

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