Pull over for free chow and a chat
Hot dogs, soup, fruit and coffee will be on offer for drivers this winter at two driver fatigue stops. The stops, held annually, aim to raise awareness of driver fatigue and encourage those travelling long distances to pull over for a break. This year they will be held in Pirongia tomorrow, and Nga¯hinapo¯uri on Sunday, August 1, from 5pm to 8pm. Waipa¯ District Council road safety co-ordinator Megan Jolly said last year, more than 200 drivers had stopped for some food and a chat. “We have been running these events for several years and it’s a great opportunity for people to have a break, perhaps swap drivers and get information about safe driving practices. “These locations target traffic heading through our district who are generally on long-distance trips and are travelling after a long week at work.” Statistically, Friday to Sunday is the most common time for fatiguerelated crashes. Driver fatigue is estimated to be a factor in at least 13 per cent of crashes. Megan said there were three key things drivers could do to prevent the risk of having a crash due to tiredness. “Catch up on sleep in the nights before you are heading off. Take a break every two hours as this refreshes you and helps to keep you alert and if you are tired, pull over and have a power nap.” The events are being run by Waipa¯ District Council, in collaboration with police, Fulton Hogan, Waka Kotahi, two local schools, and local businesses.