The Christmas message from Queenstown police is simple: be considerate when on the roads.
Senior sergeant Paula Enoka says with people flooding into the resort it’s obvious there will be more traffic. Her plea is: “drive safely and respect other road users”.
Mayor Vanessa van Uden agrees and says the district’s reputation as a holiday destination was based on providing a warm welcome to visitors, many of whom make the trip with their families year after year.
She asks locals to be patient.
“We will all be a visitor in a strange place at some stage of our lives. Let’s treat our guests the way we hope others will treat us when we’re in that situation ourselves. It’s inevitable that there will be times when the traffic is slow and people will get frustrated. You can’t bring thousands of visitors into the district without having an impact.”
She asks locals to be tolerant at roundabouts and not to drive “as fast as you’d like”.
Cops remind road users that speed limit tolerances are reduced during the festive period.
“It’s down to 4km/hour for all speed limits and this is likely to be enforced,” says Enoka.
An extra 40 cops are being drafted in from Dunedin and Invercargill to help with the busy period.
Booze buses are in operation at various locations.
Enoka warns drivers to expect to be breathalised if stopped and urges them to remember new drink-drive limits - particularly on the bleary-eyed morning run when they might be over the legal limit.
She says: “Drink responsibly, organise in advance how you are going to get home, be patient, be considerate of others when you are enjoying public spaces, make sure all your mates get home safely and be mindful of liquor ban areas that will be enforced.”