Congestion on our motorways is frustrating at any time of year, but during the busy holiday season it can be worse than ever.
Auckland Transport’s ‘Spread the jam’ video has been produced to simply explain how traffic congestion can start.
AT’s chief transport operations officer, Andrew Allen, says there are generally four causes of congestion. “Usually it’s drivers cutting-in, following too close to the vehicle in front, rubber-necking or being distracted like using their cell phone. A heavy dab on the brakes can cause a ripple effect right down the motorway turning free flowing traffic into a sticky jam!
“All drivers have to do is always maintain their following distance and give plenty of warning before changing lanes, so use your indicators.”
He says if people are more aware of the causes of traffic congestion and modify their own behaviour our motorways will run more smoothly.
Barney Irvine from the Automobile Association says the answer lies with motorists. “Driver behaviour makes a bad congestion situation even worse – AA members recognise it, and they want to see more done to raise awareness. ‘Spread the jam’ is definitely a step in the right direction, and we’re right behind it.”
A study in 2014 found that the annual cost of congestion in Auckland was $1.25 billion when compared with free-flow traffic conditions.
Remember, spread the jam:
- Keep your following distance.
- Don’t cut in.
- Don’t rubberneck.
- Avoid distractions like cell phones.