The purposes

The RTF is anticipating vehicle checkpoints will be introduced to manage COVID-19 regional/area border controls. Good crisis management is about making timely decisions to proactively manage the foreseeable future as best we can with the best information available. The purpose of this Advisory is to use the limited information we have to help operators plan for the impacts of checkpoints.

What we know from Police and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

We have been assured that appropriate traffic management plans have been developed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all road users travelling through checkpoints and we trust its expertise in that.

Police are aware of the impacts that delays will have on the likes of: driver safety and wellbeing, on duty hours, animal welfare, perishable goods, etc. We have had good engagement with Police commercial vehicle safety team (CVST) and been assured that road freight will receive priority however, we have been unable to get any details on what that might look like at roadside.

What you can do to prepare for checkpoints

We have advised officials our preference is for freight vehicles to have a free-flowing, dedicated land that means they can be waved straight through a checkpoint, but there may be good reasons and occasions where that is not possible so our advice is:

• Ensure drivers carry documentation in the truck and in their cars when travelling to and from work to show they have a valid reason for travelling. As a minimum the letter from the company should explicitly identify the driver and refer to them travelling for the purposes of providing a freight service or any other transport and logistics service as provided under the current operational Public Health Order. Attached please find a template for such a letter. This letter should be on your company letterhead and you can see where you need to fill in specific details. You should be aware of the Public Health Order you are working under and that can be found here. The RTF will advise of any relevant changes to the Order.

• We have not received any indication that Government is looking to implement RealMe as part of its plan to manage checkpoints however, during a previous lockdown it was proposed that be used to identify businesses and workers that were covered as essential workers. RTF foresee such an approach being fraught with issues and we are advocating for other solutions that do not incorporate RealMe. You may want to consider the risk that Government could use that system and check whether your staff have access to their RealMe profiles and passwords if that comes into effect.

• Remind schedulers and despatchers to consider alternative route plans and to routinely use whatever road information is available to prepare and adjust for delays.

• Consider what impacts potential journey delays will have on your driver teams and resources.

• Remind drivers to treat any official at checkpoints with courtesy; like our people, those at checkpoint are essential workers doing their job to keep the economy moving

• Brief your drivers and scheduling teams on the risks associated with delays. Regularly check-in on the well-being of drivers and remind then to keep well hydrated.

Meanwhile, we are continuing our efforts to get explicit details on how checkpoints
will operate from officials and will update you accordingly.