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City strengthens its kids road safety awareness

MEDIA ADVISORY

11 August 2003

Auckland City strengthens its road safety awareness for children

Auckland City Council will be emphasising its commitment to road safety awareness during the upcoming TRAFINZ national road safety conference*.

One of its main concerns is road safety for children:

- 84 children have died on New Zealand roads in the past five years.

- Of the 206 road crashes involving 5-14 year olds on Auckland City roads in the past five years, 62% involved children travelling to and from school.

"Every year in New Zealand around 300 child pedestrians are injured seriously enough to be admitted to hospital," says Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee chairperson. "It is not acceptable. We need to reinforce our children's safety. We hope that our message will be heard during TRAFINZ and that the situation will improve through changes in driver awareness and behaviour and new road rules where appropriate. It is our responsibility to protect our children, so let's make the difference."

Auckland City hopes that more effective road safety promotional campaigns will help to educate drivers and change their behaviours.

To underline the council's strong position on this matter, a special event will now take place in the Carlton hotel foyer at 11.30am, Monday 11 August 2003 (instead of on Queen Street outside the Town Hall due to weather conditions). Media are invited to attend. One hundred and sixty eight children from Gladstone Primary School will give a dramatic performance to demonstrate the reality of dangers to children on our roads and to highlight the 84 child fatalities.

"Gladstone Primary School runs a very successful Walking School Bus programme supported by the school and active parents, Infrastructure Auckland funding, and their local Eden-Albert Community Board which has funded some substantial safety upgrades on local streets. Joint efforts like this not only increase safety and a sense of safety in communities but also have a positive influence in terms of general road safety awareness," says Councillor McKeown.

Ends

* TRAFINZ is a conference representing local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand. It exists to lobby the government and to influence decision making on road safety and traffic issues. It also acts as a forum for collectively pursuing traffic issues of interest to local authorities, and for sharing information and advice. TRAFINZ will take place from 10 to 12 August 2003 at Carlton Hotel, Auckland.

Note for editor: More information related to Trafinz conference can be found on www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/trafinz2003

Ref: KF


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