Be prepared on our roads this Queen's Birthday weekend 30 May 2018 Driving a car is not dissimilar to a being a pilot and flying a plane. You’re the 'pilot' of your own vehicle and need to prepare for your journey with safety checks. This includes ensuring your car is road legal, has plenty of petrol, oil and water. When you're in with the door shut, drink bottle handy, music set, cell phone on silent, seat belts on for the driver and passengers, key in - you're ready to go. The 'Be prepared' campaign has been around the East Waikato for the last few years with bright coloured billboards illustrating scenarios you may come across on our roads: cows crossing a road or a tractor and a farmer on a quadbike with a dog on the back. An update last year added two more scenarios you will often see on our Coromandel roads with a car towing a boat and another towing a campervan. The campaign aims to remind us to be patient on the roads. "Being prepared on our roads means driving within your ability," says Ms Ingrid Le Fevre, our Road Safety Co-ordinator. "With our windy roads, reducing your speed is particularly important to help you stay safe on our roads." "Scanning for and spotting hazards is also a good practice to get into which helps to keep your focus on the road,"says Ms Le Fevre. "Driving requires a lot of multi-tasking - staying alert to the potential of on-coming traffic, following slower vehicles, wet conditions and potential spills just to name a few so it is important you stay alert." Driving to the conditions is simple. Keep to your side of the road, reduce your speed and use your headlights. "We encourage everyone coming to the Coromandel for the Queen's Birthday long weekend to be 'in the know before you go' and we remind all drivers planning to get away for the weekend to share the driving, take regular breaks and stay alert,” says Ms Le Fevre. “When traffic is heavy and driving conditions are less than ideal, we urge everyone to be patient, relax, and enjoy the journey.” Check NZTA's hotspot map for information on times where traffic is heaviest. Be in to win a 'be prepared' pack (pictured above). All you have to do is follow us on Facebook. For more chances to win follow Waikato Police, Coromandel's More FM, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako District Council pages. For more information about this or other road safety campaigns in our District contact our East Waikato Road Safety Co-ordinator Ingrid Le Fevre on 07 868 0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or see a local Council road that is impassable for some reason, please call us on 07 868 0200. We will also post any updates on our Facebook page and website. The New Zealand Transport Agency have the latest information about road closures and issues on our state highways (e.g. the Thames Coast Road, Kopu-Hikuai Road) online at www.nzta.govt.nz. You can also call NZTA on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) for traffic and travel information or you can use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways. You can also follow them on Facebook here.