Labour Weekend traffic: Police on the roads looking for bad driving behaviour

Traffic was heavy for those escaping Auckland for the long weekend on Friday, but has since cleared. (File photo)

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Traffic was heavy for those escaping Auckland for the long weekend on Friday, but has since cleared. (File photo)

Traffic is flowing across the motu as Kiwis wake up to the first day of the long Labour Weekend.

Meanwhile, police say they will be out on the roads in effort to spot and deter unsafe driving behaviour.

Director of road policing Steve Greally said motorists might see a police officer every 15 to 20 minutes on some highways.

“We hope this is a real incentive for drivers to focus on getting to their destination safely by driving to the conditions and maintaining a safe speed at all times.”

* Labour Weekend traffic: Road, rail and ferry disruptions in Auckland and Northland
* Congestion eases as Aucklanders leave for Labour Weekend

Police said as of 7.30am on Saturday, there had been no bad crashes related to holiday traffic across New Zealand.


The wait is over – traffic can now travel on the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway. This video shows vehicles travelling north the day after the road opened.

Traffic is traditionally heavy during long weekends as holidaymakers skip town.

Seven people died in crashes during Labour Weekend in 2021 and eight in 2020, according to Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport.

They were the deadliest Labour Weekends since eight people died on the roads in 2011.

“Any death on the roads is one too many and we certainly don’t want to have a repeat of that number this year,” Greally said.

“We need everyone to play their part in reducing the amount of death and injury on the roads. Police and our road safety partners can only do so much.”

Driving behaviour police would be focusing on included excessive speed, drink driving, fatigued drivers, people not wearing seatbelts, distracted drivers and people using their phones.

“These are the four main factors which contribute to road crashes, and yet they’re so easy to avoid,” Greally said.

“Just check yourself before you’re tempted to do any of these things, or think about the consequences. They’re just not worth it.”

The official holiday period begins at 4pm on the Friday and ends at 6am on the Tuesday.

On Friday there were hours of long delays on the motorways leading out of Auckland, with crashes in Bombay and Pōkeno adding to the woes.

Waka Kotahi has urged motorists to use its journey planning tool to avoid the worst of the congestion.

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