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Drive to survive this Easter and Anzac holiday

Drive to survive this Easter and Anzac holiday

As many people look forward to an extended Easter and Anzac holiday break, Police are asking all drivers to do their part and slow down, particularly with bad weather forecast to lash many parts of the country.

Following the success of its reduced speed threshold campaign over the summer, which saw a significant reduction in road deaths, and provisionally far fewer injuries, from 4pm tomorrow (Thursday 17 April), Police will again be strictly enforcing a reduced 4km/h reduced speed threshold over the extended Easter/Anzac holiday break. This will run until 6am on Monday 28 April.

"This is a logical step given the unusually long holiday period and the fact that many people will be taking the whole 10 days off and travelling in greater numbers,” says National Manager Road Policing, Superintendent Carey Griffiths.

During the break, Police will be out in force targeting speed, distraction, alcohol and other unsafe behaviours on the nation's roads.

“We know that people make mistakes on the road, but that shouldn't cost you or someone else life or limb. The reality is that the speed you are travelling at is what determines whether you have time to react to those mistakes – or whether you become another crash statistic," Mr Griffiths says.

"People have a simple choice whether or not to speed, and there is irrefutable evidence that reducing your speed by even small amounts can make all the difference in whether you walk away from a crash or are carried away.

"We want all New Zealanders to get where they are going safely, and ask them to play their part by watching their speed, avoiding distractions, and driving to the conditions, particularly as many parts of the country are forecast to be hit with bad weather over the coming days."

Mr Griffiths says the goal of road safety agencies is for a repeat of Easter Weekend in 2012 and Queens Birthday Weekend 2013, when there were no road deaths, along with fewer injuries.

“Since 1956, more than 560 people have been killed and 14,600 injured in crashes on our roads on Easter weekends – with 2012 the only exception when no-one died. It would be outstanding if we were able to repeat that result this weekend – and beyond. That will mean fewer crosses marking our roadsides, fewer families grieving and fewer New Zealanders left with life-altering injuries."

ACC is supporting the police speed enforcement effort, which includes an advertising campaign reminding drivers to slow down, particularly given the disproportionate carnage caused by road injuries reflected in its claims, says ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering.

"Last year, ACC received around 80 injury claims a day over Easter from road crashes, including everything from head injuries to smashed and bruised limbs. We know that the faster you go, the worse your injuries will be if you crash, so I urge all Kiwis to stick to a safe speed and drive to the conditions over the ten days of Easter and Anzac Day this year."

Along with avoiding cellphones and other distractions, Police are encouraging motorists to plan their trip and ensure they are well rested before travelling. Those in large centres should also prepare for traffic congestion and delays.

"Holiday driving is also often more dangerous than at other times, given the higher volumes of traffic on the road, people travelling longer distances on unfamiliar roads, and the potential for distraction with children or others in the car.

"Also, if you're towing, driving a heavy vehicle, or simply or driving at a slower speed over the break, please check your mirrors regularly to ensure that traffic is not backing up behind you, and where appropriate, pull over and let others pass."

During the long weekend, Police will also be joining with Australian Police jurisdictions as part of Operation Crossroads, to focus awareness about road safety issues.

ENDS

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