The Western Bay of Plenty road policing team will be out in force during the next five months as their winter action plan kicks up a gear.
The programme runs from April 1 until August 31, and focuses predominately on the local state highway network – State Highway 2 north of Bethlehem, State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Range, the Tauranga Eastern Link, and State Highway 33 to Rotorua.
Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says it's something his team have been doing for five years.
“It was brought about by a high crash risk on the Kaimai Range. All road safety partners got together to create an action plan, which included a high level of deployment and prevention activities. This was combined with engineering improvements by the New Zealand Transport Agency to the road, and education.
“It's had a significant impact on State Highway 29. We've had a 60 per cent decrease in crashes over the years, which is a fantastic result.”
Ian says the increased Police presence will be focusing on a range of driving and vehicle-related matters, all with intention of keeping the road toll down.
“There will be increased enforcement of speed, as well as drivers being breath-tested, checks on driver licences and vehicles standards – tyres, lights, windscreens, that sort of thing.”
Ian says their priority highway now is State Highway 2 north between Bethlehem and Athenree.
“We're hoping for the same reduction in crashes on that route. The two issues with that roadway are distractions and intersection compliance.
“We want to reduce fatalities and injuries. However, even crashes without injuries on our highways these days is likely to cause significant delays, which is inconveniencing to people.”