Everybody traveling these school holidays are being asked to plan ahead, take regular breaks, and stay safe on the roads.
During five days over the school holidays last year, 6-10 October 2017, 15 lives were lost on our roads.
The total deaths for the whole month was 32.
“If the same thing happens this year, we are going to have 32 people die in October.
Who is it going to be, you, a member of your family, a friend, or one of your colleagues?” says Sandra Venables, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing.
“I talk about this often and yet people are still willing to gamble with lives – either their own, their passengers’, or someone else who is sharing the road with them.
“We know the behaviours that put people at risk, we tell you what our staff will be focused on, yet we are still talking about deaths on our roads.
NZ Transport Agency acting Director Safety and Environment Lisa Rossiter agrees.
“Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them but our data says it will happen to someone.
“If you’re going away with your family these school holidays, ensure you are well rested before you set off, and ensure your focus is driving safely on the roads.
“Watch your speed and following distances, make sure you’re driving fresh and alert, don’t get distracted by the kids in the back or by your phone, and make sure everyone is wearing their seatbelt.
“If everyone abides by these simple guidelines we will help prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” says Lisa.
Sandra says police’s focus will remain on the four main behaviours we know contribute to death and serious injury on our roads; driving too fast for the conditions, driving impaired (which includes fatigue), driving distracted, and people not wearing their seatbelt.
“For Police’s part in road safety, at the end of June our Police Commissioner set an operational road safety target for Police of a five per cent reduction in road deaths each and every year.”
The baseline for this is 2017, when 378 people were tragically killed on New Zealand roads.
“Achieving the target would mean saving 19 lives every year.
“We know we have to work alongside our road safety partners and our communities to achieve this target.
“Everyone using our roads has a responsibility to ensure that safety is their first priority.
If we all work together, we can make a difference and stop deaths on our roads.
“To save your life and your family’s lives, you need to drive responsibly every time you get in your vehicle and always be aware of other road users,” says Sandra.