Taking a break vital when driving
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
Katie Barr from Broadspectrum with Zane, Gabe, Ida and Quinn at the Pirongia rest stop.
Chloe Schwass from Te Awamutu College SADD group with travellers Wesley Ryan, Denise Yeo, Hannah Widjaja, Michelle Chung and Jonathon Wong.