Eastern Bay crash rate continues to grow


Another week and more carnage across Eastern Bay of Plenty roads.

The latest being a serious four-car crash near Awakeri, which closed State Highway 30 for five hours and sent three people to Whakatane Hospital on Friday, including one who had to be cut from the wreckage of a vehicle.

It’s one of many which has taken place across Eastern Bay roads, during what Whakatane Police has described as the region’s ‘worst year yet’ for crashes.

Road policing unit Head Sergeant Ray Wylie says there's many factors contributing to the trend.

“People are distracted, driving while impaired, they’re crossing centre lines, speed is a factor, people aren’t wearing restraints and they’re driving while fatigued.

“As a result the number of serious injury crashes for the region is increasing.

“I’ve been talking about these factors for quite some time now and the message just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. People continue to take things into their own hands.”

He says it’s concerning heading into winter, that drivers are already failing to follow basic road rules.

“We’re reminding people the winter period will be upon us soon.

“It’s a concern to us as road conditions change that drivers aren’t also matching their driving conditions to suit.

“The roads are becoming slippery but people are driving at the same speed and they're approaching corners at the same speed.

“A reminder once again when the conditions change, roads become slippery or wet, people need to slow down -- particularly on bends or corners.

“It sounds so simple for most of us, but there's up to 10 people needlessly crashing on Bay of Plenty roads each week.

“If we're paying a bit more condition to what we're doing, and changing our driving to match, people wouldn't be crashing this much.”

He says we can all do better.

Sam Gardner