Scenery Car House

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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 your 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,

Using child restraints

Under New Zealand law, all children under seven years of age must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. Children aged seven must be secured in a restraint if one is available in the vehicle.

NZ Transport Agency have information about the requirements for child restraints and the drivers responsibility for ensuring they are used.

Visit their website - Using Child Restraints in NZ

Our team are working with the Waikato Regional Council to bring FREE car seat checks across the Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel and Matamata-Piako districts. You can attend any of these across all East Waikato districts. Check out our Events on our Facebook page.

Adult Cycle Skills

The many health benefits, potential savings and social interaction and the e-bike market has meant a number of people returning to cycling. We have the Hauraki Rail Trail on our doorstep and what better way to get out and enjoy it.

We have a skilled team of 2 instructors targeting people who can already ride, have their own bike/helmet and are looking for a refresh on cycling skills.

For more information call Thames-Coromandel District Council 07 8680200 to register your interest and one of our instructors will be in touch.

NZ Transport Agency have information about the Official New Zealand Code for Cyclist. Visit their website for the official New Zealand code for cyclists online.

Safe Holiday Driving Tips

Getting ready for that holiday road trip?

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. Download the Quick Safety Check(757KB) Adobe PDF document

Young Drivers / Restricted Licence Holders

A practical driving programme designed to help learner licence holders pass their restricted drivers licence test is available free online. Check out the website

A toolkit for parents of teen drivers is also available to explain the licence process and the risks and skills in each phase. View the website.

More information about driver licences can be found on the NZ Transport Agency website

Senior Drivers

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.


Be Prepared

Be Prepared, you don't know what is around the next corner.

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.

Be prepared - look out for stock on roads

Tractors are large vehicles and patience is required on our roads, tractors like stock can be around the next corner or over the brow of a hill, please Be Prepared on our rural roads. Tractors are often tall, wide and slow vehicles, keep a look out and Be Prepared to reduce your speed any time of the day or night. In particular hay season January - February.

Be prepared - tractors on roads

Plan B4 U Party

Plan before you partyThe Plan B4 U Party campaign is supported by Councils and most local drinking establishments across the East Waikato.

The Plan B4 U Party logo (designed by Waiuku SADD college students) has been designed to get people to plan and think 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, and therefore avoid a fine. Ordering a taxi or getting a sober mate to drive you home is the way to go.

Get Involved with SADD

SADD is a peer education programme that has been in New Zealand for over 20 years. The primary objective of SADD is to reduce the harm caused on our roads 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. Waihi, Paeroa and Hauraki Plains Colleges all have SADD groups.

For more information, check out the SADD website.