Road Safety Initiatives
Our goal is to keep locals and visitors safe on our roads by funding and promoting a range of road safety initiatives.
Along with our Speed Management Plan, we do this by providing funding and promotion of the Eastern Waikato Road Safety team’s initiatives for the district. Getting behind these education campaigns helps get our road users home safe at the end of the day. That’s really important to our communities and to us too.
Plan B4 U Party
This education awareness campaign encourages people to plan before they party. It's supported by most local drinking establishments, bottle stores and campgrounds across East Waikato.
The Plan B4 U Party campaign (logo designed by Waiuku SADD college students) aims to get people thinking about the whole picture when partying, before they get stuck and make a bad decision such as drinking and driving.
Planning before you party is a very simple way to not drink and drive. Ordering a taxi or getting a sober mate to drive you home is the way to go.
Get involved with SADD
Students Against Dangerous Driving
SADD is a peer education programme that has been in New Zealand for over 20 years. The primary objective of SADD is to 'empower young people to make safer and better choices on the road' to reduce the harm caused by drink drivers.
The peer education programme is run in secondary schools by students and can be incorporated into the school curriculum. The organisation is open to any student and SADD encourages participation from across the year levels. Waihī, Paeroa and Hauraki Plains Colleges all have SADD groups.
For more information, check out the SADD website.
Using child restraints in NZ
Under New Zealand law, all children under seven years of age must use an approved child restraint (car seat) appropriate for their age and size. Children aged seven and over must be secured in a restraint (booster seat/seat belt) if one is available in the vehicle.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have information about the requirements for child restraints and the driver's responsibility for ensuring they are used.
Visit their website:
- requirements for using child restraints in NZ
- buying and installing child restraints - helpful videos
Child restraints have a reputation for being challenging to understand and install, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
"At SitTight, they design online training programmes that simplify the puzzle. Their courses offer easy to understand explanations in plain English that remove confusion, answer commonly asked questions and reveal tips that will make your relationship with child restraints a much happier one!"
If you need some guidance to determine the date of manufacture of your car seat, please refer to SitTight's article “How to Read a Car Seat Date Stamp”. You will use this date to calculate your car seat expiry date.
Free cycle training courses for adults
The many health benefits, potential savings, fun social interaction and the e-bike market has meant a number of people are returning to cycling. We have the Hauraki Rail Trail on our doorstep and what better way to get out and enjoy it.
Get pedal ready
We have a skilled team of 2 instructors offering free cycle courses for adults. If you've got your own bike and helmet and want to increase your bike riding confidence, sign up for one of the regularly scheduled courses held in Waihi, Paeroa and Ngatea, as well as our neighbouring councils. You can attend a course at any location in Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel or Matamata-Piako districts.
Spaces are limited to twelve. Thames-Coromandel District Council manages all the bookings. Phone 07 868 0200 to register your interest and one of our instructors will be in touch.
- Learn what ‘Pedal ready’ means
- How to stay safe when you're cycling
- What to look for to check your bike is roadworthy
- Designed for adults who can ride a bike
- For everyday riding tips: www.bikeready.govt.nz
- For cycle safety tips and the road code for cyclists see Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency: www.nzta.govt.nz
- To find a group/club in your region: www.cyclingnewzealand.nz
- For Hauraki Rail Trail status: www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz
Be prepared - expect the unexpected on rural roads
Be Prepared - you don't know what is around the next corner on rural roads.
Stock are unpredictable and can get onto the road at any time day or night and can run out in front of oncoming traffic. Look out for stock movements with share-milkers moving herds in early June.
Large, slow farm vehicles like tractors are often moving between places on rural roads. Patience is required on our roads as tractors, like stock, can be around the next corner or over the brow of a hill. Be Prepared to reduce your speed any time of the day or night. In particular hay season January - February.
Besides household pets and farm animals, it's also common to have a duck, pheasant, rabbit or possum rush out from the side of the road in our rural areas.
A lot of our rural roads are found on the Hauraki Plains. These roads are built on peat and gley soils which contract and shrink in dry weather. This shrinkage can cause road surfaces to settle unevenly, creating bumps, cracks, and ruts in the road. The Plains roads were particularly hard hit during the 2019/2020 drought.
Please keep both hands on the steering wheel or handlebars of a bike or motorbike when travelling on these types of uneven road conditions. Keep to the speed limit and drive to the conditions. Also expect to slow down or stop for road works, as we have an extensive repair programme underway during the summer construction season (between October and March particularly).
Road safety around schools
We have a number of these around the Hauraki district so please look out for children and reduce your speed close to schools. The crossings generally only operate before and after school, 8-9am and 3-4pm. These are run by trained school children. The crossing has swing arms that come into the middle of the road from both sides to allow a safe area for children to cross.
Remember children are little people, they can't see as much as adults. Patience and slow speeds are necessary around schools.
Read about sharing the road with pedestrians on the New Zealand Transport Agency website.
20km/h Past a School Bus
If a school bus has stopped to let children on or off you must slow down and drive at no more than 20km/h until you are well past the bus, travelling in either direction.
Did you know - 'An example of the enforcement action Police can take is as follows: travelling 51km/h past a stationary bus will incur an infringement of $300. Travelling at 71km/h past a stationary school bus will incur a loss of drivers license for 28 days and an appearance in Court.' - Quote: 14 April 2010 Police Media Release, Matamata-Piako Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Dana McDonald
Read more about speed limits in the New Zealand Rode Code.
Ruben the Road Safety Bear
Ruben the Road Safety Bear's job is to help children learn to stay safe on and around the road; Ruben lives in Hamilton and travels all across Waikato telling his story. Do you want to know what Ruben's monthly road safety tip is? Check out www.ruben.govt.nz
Motorbike road safety
Did you know that your motorbike helmet has an expiry date? Want to know the safety rating of your helmet? Sharp Direct UK
Want to know how you can reduce your motorcycle risk go to: Reduce the Risk
Are you a group rider, returning to riding or interested in gaining more skills check out: Ride Forever
Local motorbike training and licence assessments at Revs Motorbike Training in Paeroa.
With its beautiful scenery and curving rhythm the Coromandel Loop is a favourite for Kiwi riders. The Loop is a challenging ride, which means the things that make it enjoyable also make it risky. That’s why you need to keep your head in the game.
Where do I find the Motorcycle Road Code?
The NZ Transport Agency website has the Official New Zealand Road Code for Motorcyclists online.
Pump Up Your Ride!
When was the last time you 'Pumped up your ride'?
Check your tyres before you ride when they are cold.
Do you know what your motorbike tyre pressure should be?
Your bike manual or your tyre sidewall has your correct tyre pressure.
Over inflation may result in reduced contact with the road
Not to mention an uncomfortable ride and your centre tread wearing down.
Prolonged under-inflation causes excessive flexing and rapid wear of tyre tread
Your motorbike may also consume more petrol costing you extra!
The Waikato has amazing roads for some awesome riding, it also has a history of horrific motorcycle crashes.
From 2005 to 2009 50 riders have been injured and 10 fatal - you don't want to add to that number.
Brought to you by East Waikato Road Safety
Young drivers | Restricted Licence holders
Young Drivers / Restricted Licence Holders
Book a Learner's Licence test with the AA at the Paeroa Information Hub, 101 Normanby Ave, Paeroa
The Paeroa Information Hub is an AA Drive-Vehicle Licensing Agent. They can handle all vehicle licensing requirements including international driving permits.
A practical driving programme designed to help learner licence holders pass their restricted drivers licence test is available free online. Check out the website www.drive.govt.nz
More information about driver licences can be found on the NZ Transport Agency website
Many older people rely on their car to get around. Having a car makes it easy to go shopping, get to appointments and catch up with friends – without having to ask anyone else for help.
Some people will be able to keep driving well into their 80s and 90s. Others may have to stop driving because they can’t renew their driver licence after they turn 75.
If you have an older friend or relative who is still driving, you can help them:
- keep a check on whether they’re still able to drive safely
- plan ahead so they can get around safely and easily if they have to stop driving for any reason.
There are ways you can help them stay mobile for as long as possible – with or without a car.
The NZ Transport Agency website has information and resources available about safe driving and senior drivers.
Safe Driving Tips
Avoid Driver Distraction
Receiving texts and calls
Switch mobile phones OFF when driving. It is illegal to send or receive text messages or calls on hand-held mobile phones while driving.
Texting and calling on a non hands free phone while driving will naturally result in you receiving a penalty. It might surprise you to learn however, it’s not just you who could receive a fine if you’re caught using your phone at the wheel.
Driver using a mobile phone while driving $80 fine with 20 demerits.
How to stop your phone use at the wheel
We understand sometimes it might feel like you absolutely have to use your phone when behind the wheel, but it isn’t actually the case. The temptation to check your mobile every time it pings or dings might seem unbearable, but there are measures you can take to ensure you aren’t finding your attention wandering.
Some useful tips for counteracting the problem of a mobile’s allure include:
- Turning your phone onto silent mode
- Putting the mobile out of reach (such as in the trunk or a glove compartment)
- Turning your mobile phone off altogether
Credit: Daren Felton, email@example.com
Safe Holiday Driving Tips
Getting ready for that holiday road trip?
Download the Quick Safety Checks for your Car (PDF, 774.7kb)
It's a great time to think about the safety of you and your family by making sure that your car is road worthy.
Here are a few tips to help you get to your destination safely:
Prepare your vehicle – check your tyre pressure and condition, fluid levels, lights, clean your windscreen. It’s a good idea to give your vehicle a service before the start of summer
Prepare yourself - be rested before a long drive, plan the trip so you share the driving and take regular breaks to minimise fatigue
If you have children in the car ensure they are correctly restrained in an approved car seat
Check your load security and trailer coupling locks when towing a boat, trailer or caravan
Before you drive off set your music and turn your cell phone to silent and enjoy the drive without distractions
Check your car
If you own a car, it’s your responsibility to maintain your vehicle and ensure it’s in a roadworthy condition at all times. Take the time to check your car regularly and you could reduce the risk of serious damage to you, your passengers and your car in a crash.
It doesn’t take long to give your car a quick safety check. Just give it a regular TWIRL and take it to an expert if you think anything’s wrong.