So many fatal crashes avoidable
Police are urging revellers to plan to get home safely after the death of a Putaruru man in a crash last week.
Jonathan Wyatt Burt, 19, died after the Toyota fourwheel-drive he was a passenger in crashed into the lowlevel bridge at the intersection of state highway one and Shakespeare St in the early hours of December 6.
Police want those out enjoying festivities to arrange to get home safely.
‘‘Potentially nearly half of our fatal crashes could have been avoided if drivers followed basics steps such as not drinking and driving, and watching their speed,’’ said Waikato district road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman. He said it was a tough call for emergency services to be called away from their own families over the summer to attend crashes that appear to be avoidable.
The accident that killed Mr Burt involved ‘‘ excessive speed’’ and a driver who had been drinking Mr Tooman said. The victim was not wearing a seat belt which compounded the issue. Mr Tooman believed the accident would have been survivable had Mr Burt been wearing a seat belt.
Mr Tooman said far from officers being the party poopers police encouraged responsibly managed functions.
‘‘But a successful Christmas party is not one where those attending, and their vehicles, are written off. A good function is one where there is plenty of substantial food and non-alcoholic drinks, and arrangements have been made to get everyone home safely,’’ he said.
‘‘While we ask organisers to adhere to their host responsibilities we will also be backing this up with a highly visible policing presence out on our roads this summer.’’