Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Action needed to cut NZ's alarming road toll

A gap in driver education is a leading contributor to New Zealand’s rising road toll, with young drivers over-represented in the fatalities.

Motorsport icon and Holden Street Smart ambassador Greg Murphy says much more emphasis is needed on improving driving skills, starting with our youngest drivers.

His comments come after 13 people died last week on our roads, bringing the 2018 toll to 260 - tracking close to being the deadliest in nine years.

Greg Murphy says: “Every day we hear about car accidents and fatalities on our roads, so it’s critical we educate drivers about the dangers of getting behind the wheel, as well as helping them to develop the confidence to feel safe on the road.”

The Government has recently announced plans for a year-on-year reduction of the national road toll, focusing on a $16.9 billion spend on the country’s transport system, including a programme of median safety barriers, roadside barriers and rumble strip installments.
Greg is putting his support behind Holden Street Smart, an initiative which is run every school holiday and provides young drivers with challenging exercises in the safest possible manner.

“Improving the road system will reduce some of the risks associated with being on the road by making driving more efficient and safer for all road users. However, these improvements won’t change the driving skills of Kiwis, which is where the focus needs to be. The number of damaged median and roadside barriers on perfectly good and straight roads throughout the country, tells you it’s not just the roads that need attention – cars don’t crash themselves.

“Drivers are still making way too many bad decisions, which in many cases are just because they aren’t aware that they are doing anything wrong. If a driver hasn’t been taught something, then how are they supposed to know?” Murphy says.

Holden Street Smart is a day-long course for young drivers, accompanied by a parent or caregiver, where they are faced with a variety of scenarios, including learning how to avoid head-on collisions, the importance of driving without distractions and keeping a safe following distance. It’s all done under the watchful eye of experienced coaches and is significantly subsidised by Holden to keep the cost as low as possible, at just $49 for the day.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Holden Street Smart is making a difference by providing drivers with better skills and awareness. And it isn’t just young drivers that are learning - the parents and caregivers attending are leaving with new information and a refreshed way of thinking when it comes to driving better and more safely.” Murphy adds.

Since launching in February this year, Holden Street Smart has seen more than 400 young drivers, plus their parent or caregiver, take part in the programme, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Vinny McCorkindale, who attended Holden Street Smart with her son in July, says: “It was a very worthwhile day spent in Cromwell with the Holden Street Smart team - not only for the young drivers who took part but also the parents who accompanied them. There was something for everyone and a great opportunity to sharpen up our everyday driving skills in a controlled environment. This course raises everyone's awareness of our responsibilities on the road - a serious message delivered in a professional way. I would recommend this for all drivers as a fun and very beneficial experience.”
Marc Ebolo, Managing Director of Holden New Zealand, says: “Holden is committed to tackling and reducing the New Zealand road toll, which is rising at a worrying rate. Hearing that five people were killed on the road in just one day is an enormous sign that there is a lot of work to be done around education and awareness of road safety.”

“The main purpose of Holden Street Smart is to target the most at-risk group when it comes to accidents and fatalities on the road and it’s young drivers that fall into this category more often than most. We believe this education and hands-on experience will help to change behaviour on the roads in the future.”

Holden Street Smart courses take place during the school holidays at several locations across the country. To find out more, and to book a spot, visit: https://www.holdenstreetsmart.co.nz/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

2021: NZ To Host Women’s Rugby World Cup

New Zealand’s successful bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will raise the profile of the game locally and provide a valuable economic boost for the game, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke Review: Mahler 7 - NZSO

Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony may be one of the least well-known of its ilk, but Edo de Waart and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra made a compelling case for a reassessment. They showed us a work of immense variety, surprising contrast and delicate shades of light and dark. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Strange Overtones - David Byrne's American Utopia Tour

Scotch-born singer-songwriter David Byrne starts each show on his latest world tour stroking a pink brain as he sits alone at a table in a gray three-button Kenzo suit singing a song called Here from his latest album American Utopia. More>>

Governor-General's Speech: Armistice Day 100 Years On

The response was more muted amongst our soldiers at the Front. Many received the news quietly... There was no cheering. The chaps didn’t get excited. It was just a matter of relief. We didn’t celebrate at all. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Fringe Programme: A Celebration Of The Bizarre And Beautiful

Building on a huge 2018 programme that saw 492 creatives take 81 events for ventures around the city for a total of 347 performances, Auckland Fringe returns this summer, running February 19 – March 3, 2019. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland