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Police urge Auckland motorists to ditch distractions

Please attribute to Inspector Scott Webb, Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager

Police are urging Auckland motorists to ditch the distractions, as a month-long operation ensuring drivers stay focused on the road gets underway.

This September, Police throughout Auckland will be taking an extra focus on distracted drivers.

Inspector Scott Webb says Police are disappointed by the number of drivers taking unnecessary risks by driving distracted on the road.

“It’s a problem Police see time and time again.

Distraction is a serious road safety issue that can have tragic consequences,” he says.

In 2018, 377 people were killed on New Zealand roads.

So far this year in Tāmaki Makaurau alone, close to 40 people have lost their lives on the roads.

A significant number of those crashes involved distracted drivers.

“These crashes affect not only those people who lose their lives, but their families, friends, colleagues and wider community,” he says.

“Is sending or reading a text or taking a phone call while driving really worth the risk? When you’re driving, your focus should be on the road and getting everybody in your car to the destination safely. Put the phone away and keep your eyes on the road, this includes when you're stopped at traffic lights or in gridlock traffic.”

Inspector Scott Webb says it only takes a split second of inattention to cause or be involved in a crash.

He says while the most common distraction he sees is the use of cell phones, motorists should also avoid eating while driving, reaching to change their music, or doing their make up while behind the wheel.

“We want people to get to their destination safely and be focused on the road.

You need to focus.

Focusing will get you home to your loved ones.”

This afternoon Police will release a short video about 17-year-old Ruby-Jean, who tragically lost her life in a crash when she became distracted while driving home. While the cause of her distraction is not known, the ultimate cost was her life.

The video will be released on the Counties Manukau Police Facebook page.

Police want to thank Ruby-Jean’s friends and family for allowing us to tell her story in bid to help prevent others from going through what they have.


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