Horowhenua Chronicle

Be a road safety hero


Horizons Regional Council is once again supporting road safety week. An annual event held throughout communitie­s across New Zealand to promote road safety. This year, the theme for the week is ‘road safety heroes’.

Horizons road safety coordinato­r Debbie Webster wants everyone to become a road safety hero.

“We can all do our bit to get involved and help improve road safety. It should be a priority for us all and we should stop accepting that people will die or be seriously injured in a crash,” says Ms Webster

There’s a certain level of complacenc­y among us when it comes to road safety. More than 50 percent of New Zealanders believe some deaths on our roads are acceptable, however the people killed or seriously injured are somebody’s family, friends or loved one. The impact of their loss is devastatin­g.

Everyone can be a road safety hero. From the people who design the roads, to those who enforce the road rules, to those educating the public on safe road use. There should be no apologies for putting the safety of people first.

In 2020, 318 people were killed and almost 2,500 seriously injured on New Zealand roads. On average, one person is killed, and several people are seriously injured in crashes on our roads every day.

Each death and serious injury has a devastatin­g and wide-reaching impact on our communitie­s. The social cost to New Zealand of $84 million per week or nearly $4.7 billion a year includes the cost on individual­s, the health system, disruption on the road network, and the devastatio­n that deaths and serious injuries have on communitie­s.

5 ways to be a road safety hero 1. Stay focused

Distracted driving can be deadly so keep your eyes on the road, stay off your phone. Watch for anything unfolding around you where you may need to take defensive action.

2. Drive Sober

If you are planning to have a few drinks, think about how you’re getting home. Even one or two drinks can affect how you drive.

3. Buckle Up

It only takes a few seconds to put your seatbelt on, but it could save your life. Always ensure children are in the correct child restraint for their age.

4. Take a break

If you’ve got a long day of driving ahead, get a good night’s sleep before you get behind the wheel. Driving tired is as dangerous as driving drunk.

5. Slow down

Just a couple of kilometres over the speed limit can have devastatin­g consequenc­es. Better to arrive alive.

It takes everyone to get to no one.

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