Drive­way safety record a ‘na­tional shame’

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SAM DUFF

Al­most 500 Porirua state houses would ben­e­fit from im­proved drive­way safety, Hous­ing Min­is­ter Nick Smith said when he vis­ited Porirua East this month.

The min­is­ter was launch­ing a $ 30 mil­lion Gov­ern­ment pro­gramme aimed at re­duc­ing the num­ber of chil­dren killed or in­jured in drive­ways.

The Mun­gavin Ave home, where the pro­gramme was launched, was one of nine Porirua houses fit­ted with new fenc­ing and self- lock gates, Mr Smith said.

Hous­ing New Zealand spokes­woman Dee Guja said more than $1 mil­lion would be spent over the next four years to im­prove 485 Porirua drive­ways.

Mr Smith said one child died ev­ery 10 weeks in New Zealand drive­ways and Porirua was a good place to kick off the cam­paign.

‘‘This area has a par­tic­u­lar con­cen­tra­tion of state houses and is a use­ful place to launch this na­tion­wide pro­gramme,’’ he said.

Mr Smith said fam­i­lies with young chil­dren would be tar­geted with an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme run by Safekids Aotearoa and the im­proved drive­way safety mea­sures.

‘‘This is typ­i­cal of what we are at­tempt­ing to do, so for state houses with young fam­i­lies we want to fence off the area in which the chil­dren play,’’ he said. ‘‘Cul-de-sacs are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble, be­cause the chil­dren tend to play on the road.’’

He said 13,000 state houses na­tion­wide would ben­e­fit from the scheme.

‘‘Porirua is an area in which we want to raise the pro­file of the is­sue of child safety,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘Not only is there loss of life, but the fam­i­lies in­volved are per­ma­nently scarred by the tragedy when a young fam­ily mem­ber is lost in a drive­way ac­ci­dent.

‘‘Frankly, barely a month goes by that we don’t pick up a news­pa­per and find that a child has been driven over ac­ci­den­tally by a par­ent.

‘‘Ev­ery time it hap­pens your heart sinks.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.