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Look after one another on our roads, save lives

If we all look after one another on our roads, how many lives could we save?

Friday, 13 December 2013 - 3:47pm

National News

This summer NZ Police is using a range of tactics to save lives and prevent life-threatening injuries. From now until 31 January 2014 police will have no tolerance of speeding. Police will be highly visible on our roads, ensuring people drive under the speed limit and cracking down on drunk-driving and other risky behaviour.

Why are police stopping speeders?

Traffic increases as people flock to their favourite holiday spots. But no matter how safe you think your car is, or how competent you are as a driver, three facts remain:

• we are all human

• mistakes will happen on our roads

• and regardless of the cause of any crash, it is your speed that determines whether you, your mates or your family members will walk away.

Research tells us that a small reduction in average speeds could result in a significant drop in fatal crashes. Did you that know a 1km/h drop in average speed throughout the country could reduce fatalities by 4%? This is because at safer speeds, drivers have more time to react. They also have more chance to recover from somebody else’s mistake.

We know from experience that when police reduce the speed enforcement threshold over holiday periods, fewer people get killed or injured. For example when police reduced the speed enforcement threshold over Queen's Birthday weekend in 2010 and 2011, the total number of fatal/injury crashes reduced by 25% compared with the previous two years - that's an average of 30 people who continued to live out and fufill their dreams each year. Any of these people saved could be your neighbour, a friend or someone in your family.

In December 2012 and January 2013, there were 359 serious injuries on our roads and 57 deaths. This loss will be mourned for generations, so please look after your friends and family, and slow down.

Other tips on how stay safe on the road this summer

• Always drive to the conditions

• Make sure everyone has buckled their safety belts

• Drive fresh

• Plan your journey - allow time for breaks and be patient on the road

• Watch your following distance

• If you’re having a drink, plan another way to get home

ENDS

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