Keep safe on the roads
Last year, 21 people lost their lives on roads in the Taupo¯ and South Waikato policing area. So far, the Taupo¯ /South Waikato stands at 15 deaths from 13 crashes.
Nationally, 355 people lost their lives on New Zealand roads from January 1 to mid-December.
This holiday season, the message from NZ Police and the NZ Transport Agency to road users is simple — remain focused and drive as if your life and the lives of those around you depend on it.
Be courteous, be cautious, and look out for one another.
Senior Sergeant Fane Troy, road policing manager for the Taupo¯ area, says there will be a large road policing presence on roads around the Taupo¯ district over the summer holiday period. Most of the district’s fatal accidents happen on the state highways where a simple error can prove deadly.
“When people make a mistake, the only thing separating them is a small white centre line,” he says.
“They need to be vigilant while driving on our highways because there is no room for forgiveness.”
Some years ago the NZTA ran a road safety campaign called Left of Left is Best and Mr Troy says that message of staying left and away from the centre line still applies.
“Hug your wha¯ nau, not the centre line.”
The road safety advice follows a horror year on the roads so far, with the road toll by midDecember already exceeding 2017, and 84 more people than in 2014.
“There have already been too many people die on the roads this year and we want you all to enjoy the New Zealand summer with your loved ones,” says Sandra Venables, assistant commissioner for road policing.
“Decisions you make as a driver impact not only on you, but all other road users.
“You have a responsibility to drive safely on behalf of everyone you are sharing the road with.
“Passengers also need to make good decisions about whose hands they are putting their life in. If you have any doubts then speak up, find an alternative driver, or another option to get to where you need to be. Designate a sober driver, make sure everyone in the car puts a seatbelt on, and let the driver focus on driving.
“Our staff will be targeting the four main behaviours we know contribute to death and serious injury on the road — not wearing your seatbelt, driving impaired (by fatigue, drugs, or alcohol); driving distracted (such as using a cellphone), and speeding.
“These behaviours will again be the main focus of our summer road safety campaign.
Police have launched social media videos to back up their onroad activity by getting people to think about behaviours that put lives in danger on the road.
“If officers witness people undertaking any of these risky behaviours on our roads, or we are advised of risky driver behaviour, we will take action either at the time or by follow up enquiries.
“We will continue to have a strong operational focus on road safety over the higher risk periods, which will involve all Police staff, not just our road policing teams.
“Our staff will be visible and assisting you to get to your destinations safely by targeting unsafe behaviours.”
NZ Transport Agency safety and environment director Harry Wilson says the high number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads affects families and communities across New Zealand.
“As always, police will be working incredibly hard to keep New Zealanders safe this summer but all of us need to play our part to ensure we and our loved ones arrive safely. We know that following four simple rules can be the difference between a safe or tragic outcome on the road: always wear a seatbelt, don’t drive while impaired or distracted and keep to the speed limit.
“At the end of the day, agencies can’t do this alone. We need everyone’s help to keep the roads safe, road safety is everybody’s responsibility.”
Senior Sergeant Fane Troy.
The road toll has been rising for the past several years.