Huge road toll must stop
First responders are pleading with motorists not to become fatality number 21 in the South Waikato this Labour Weekend.
Twenty people have so far died this year in road accidents from just north of Taupo through to Tirau.
Police Senior Sergeant Jason Henderson said the impact on a road victim’s wider family and friends was ‘‘just devastating’’.
He said people need to remember the basics; seatbelts, speeding and drinking and driving.
Then there was the plain stupid.
Henderson said there was an incident over the weekend where a man on a motor scooter was carrying a young child in the footwell. He blew nearly four times over the legal limit.
‘‘It is those sorts of things that result in people dying unfortunately.’’
He said people needed to plan their trip, give themselves plenty of time and take plenty of rest to avoid fatigue because rushing to get somewhere on time gets people killed.
‘‘You just have to go with the flow of the traffic. Drive considerately.’’
Tokoroa Chief Firefighter Dave Morris also has some advice.
He said seatbelts and airbags were helping keep the road toll down and these days roads were a lot better than a few years back, but people still make mistakes.
‘‘The key is keeping aware and being patient. Keep to the road conditions’’
Morris said it was important to stop and take a break every so often.
An accident a few years back at Hatupatu Rock claimed the lives of six people from one car, due to fatigue and people crammed into a hot car.
Cell phones were also a factor in road deaths.
‘‘If you have bluetooth or hands free use it, otherwise pull over,’’ Morris said.
Morris said Tokoroa had a ‘‘fantastic’’ emergency group and all agencies work well together.
He said if you come across an incident, give the best location they can. Pass on a grid reference if you have one or the location of the nearest town.
Both Henderson and Morris said when driving look in all of your mirrors, and pull over for upcoming flashing lights and sirens.
‘‘drive to survive.’’