16 Jan, 2023
More Northlanders are calling for motorists to respect frontline road workers – this time the Northland Transportation Alliance with backing from Northland Road Policing.
And the request is being backed by Northland Road Policing following a horrific spate of vehicle crashes resulting in dozens of deaths and serious injuries in 2022.
The safety of roading crews in Northland this summer is paramount, says Nicole Cauty, Northland Transportation Alliance’s Road Safety Promotion Project Manager.
“Our frontline roading staff are part of our community and they are doing their best to keep us all safe on our roads,” says Mrs Cauty.
“They work in challenging weather extremes, from our winter and spring storms to the heat of summer, so it is tough work. We just all need to be mindful of showing them the respect they deserve, keeping to the designated speed limits around road works and giving them plenty of space as we drive past.”
Fulton Hogan Senior Roadman Glynn Thomas agrees wholeheartedly.
“It is not until you find yourself working on a busy road that you understand that 10kmh or 20kmh slower makes a big difference to everyone working on Northland’s roads,” says Mr Thomas.
Over thirty road crews will be working on many sites around Northland over the next few months across Kaipara, Whangarei and Far North District Council networks. In addition to planned maintenance and improvement activities this work also includes progressing repairs to roads impacted by the multiple extreme storm events experienced through the later part of this year.
As a result, motorists should prepare themselves for delays when travelling due to that work, road closures, detours and reduced speed limits being put in place for safety reasons in some areas.
“The mindset we want motorists to adopt this summer is ‘Patience to Paradise’ and that is all about planning your journey, taking breaks, expecting delays, driving to the conditions and arriving alive,” says Mrs Cauty.
“It is also timely to remind drivers to remain aware of RIDS – Restraints, Impairment, Distraction and Speed. These are all far too commonly associated with our crashes in Northland. For me personally, restraints are really important. I just want everyone in the car to be using the appropriate restraint.”
Senior Sergeant Haydn Korach is also urging motorists to be patient.
“We all need to show tolerance to other road users and our road workers as there will be delays over summer so people need to plan accordingly. I also urge people travelling north to us State Highway 10 - not SH 1 - and not go through Broadwood,” says Mr Korach.
“Crashes not only cause deaths, they cause serious and often long-lasting injuries. Please don’t be that person who causes a crash and brings pain and injury to others.
“With the influx of holiday makers to Northland over summer our roads will be extremely busy which means our emergency services will be busy at this time. Crashes on our roads mean our emergency services can’t attend other incidents.”
Nicole Cauty and Haydn Korach are calling for motorists to respect road workers this summer. (PHOTO/SUPPLIED)