SIX crashes in four days and a forecast for bad weather has prompted Eastern Bay road policing officer Ray Wylie to remind motorists to drive to the conditions and not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol
Mr Wylie said four of the accidents involved drivers who had been drinking alcohol and occurred on Saturday evening.
He said a driver also lost control on Thornton Road and on Monday, another motorist crashed while driving on Tamarangi Drive in Kawerau.
“The increased number of crashes and alcohol-related injuries are really concerning for police.
“In the past we have had one of the highest number of road deaths involving alcohol.
“We have made good progress in decreasing the number of deaths on our roads, but a few drivers are letting us down.
“These are crashes that we have to attend, and the outcome may have been more serious, or at worst a death may have occurred, so the message is that if you are having a drink, you don’t drive, and you stay off our roads.
“We know that even a small amount of alcohol or drugs impairs your ability to drive, your reactions are slowed and often result in a loss of control and crashing. Crash rates are on the increase and have to come down. Drivers cannot blame the roads.
“It is drivers that are making mistakes. This is poor driver behaviour and leads to injuries and deaths on our roads.
“It is time for drivers to stop making fundamental mistakes because of their poor decisions by paying attention to their driving, by slowing down and driving to the conditions.
“That’s a concern as we head in to the winter period. Some of our drivers fail to recognise the changeable road conditions. This often results in a loss of control and colliding with a bank or going off the roads and worse colliding with a vehicle.”
Mr Wylie said if anyone noticed poor driver behaviour then they should call *555.
“If the behaviour is dangerous, then we are asking them to call 111.”
Meanwhile, the severe gales, high winds, heavy rain warnings and road snowfall warnings have been issued for parts of central and lower North Island.
New Zealand Transport Agency journey manager Liam Ryan said road users should take extra care while travelling as snow and ice can make roads more hazardous especially in shaded areas or bridge decks.
“Road users must drive to the conditions and plan ahead in case of any delays.
“It’s a good idea to pack extra food, warm clothing and blankets in case of emergencies or road closures.
“If weather conditions make driving too hazardous, some roads may close for a time.”