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Road safety campaign has positive results

Road safety campaign has positive results

Transit New Zealand and RoadSafe Auckland’s latest motorway safety campaign with its slogan ‘Slow down at roadworks’ has had a positive impact on driver behaviour with motorists now starting to show a greater regard for the safety of roadworkers.

For the past two months, the safety campaign was used to emphasise the importance of obeying temporary signs at roadworks sites and taking care to watch out for road workers.

The campaign included billboards at motorway on-ramps and radio advertising. Some 30, 000 brochures were also sent to organisations such as trucking and courier companies, driving schools, rental car companies and local authorities.

Martin Dawe, RoadSafe Auckland’s Regional Road Safety Co-ordinator says the campaign, which ended last week, successfully reached key audiences including new drivers, tourists and professional drivers. “The positive feedback has been great, we have been able to communicate how important it is that drivers have consideration for workers out there on the road,” he said.

Transit has also been able to use the safety campaign to address a key motorist frustration – obeying temporary speed restriction signs when there is apparently no work taking place.

Transit Regional Manager Wayne McDonald explains that there are various reasons why speed signs are left standing after work is completed. These include newly laid tarseal that is not yet ready for vehicles travelling at high speed; loose material that is dangerous for vehicles travelling at high speeds, and road markings and safety devices that are not yet back in place. “Speed restriction signs protect the road as well as motorists – they are always there for a reason,” says Mr McDonald.

Inspector Dave Walker of the Auckland Motorway Police is also enthusiastic about the results of the ‘Slow down at roadworks’ campaign. “We have seen drivers becoming more aware that they must slow down at roadworks sites. People are coming to understand that roadworkers are at risk every day, working in narrow and confined areas, wearing earmuffs and often working with their backs to the traffic. The campaign has gone a long way towards encouraging motorists that they must take some responsibility for keeping workers safe,” he says.

The ‘Slow down at roadworks’ safety campaign was timed to coincide with the intensive construction currently underway on Auckland motorways. “We understand the frustration of motorists delayed by roadworks, but we need people to be a little more patient as we continue to upgrade the motorway network,” says Mr McDonald.

Over the last five years there have been 48 reported crashes at roadworks sites throughout the Auckland region, involving 95 people, of whom five were killed and seven seriously injured.

The ‘Slow down at roadworks’ campaign follows on from the successful ‘Don’t be a Domino’ safety campaign run in 2002.

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