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Road Safe Christmas Message

We have all heard the slogan, the faster you go the bigger the mess, but many people don’t realise that speeding can result in losing your freedom, your car and your job.

Auckland Regional Councillor Catherine Harland, Chairwoman of the Regional Land Transport Committee says, “RoadSafe Auckland has an ongoing concern about dangerous speeding on the roads. We have launched a new campaign highlighting the very real losses speeding drivers face through fines, loss of their licence, car, job and ultimately loss of freedom, friends and family”.

Speeding resulted in nearly 6.5 million demerit points in 2001

Statistics collected by the Land Transport Safety Authority clearly reveal that the more someone speeds, the more they lose. For the whole of New Zealand, in 2001, over 200,000 drivers received nearly 6.5 million demerit points for speeding. In total, 13,059 drivers had their licence suspended through receiving demerit points from all types of offence, and 1,775 drivers received a 28-day roadside suspension for exceeding the speed limit by more than 50km/h.

Speed kills and maims

Peter Kippenberger, Regional Manager for the Land Transport Safety Authority says, “Speed has been identified as a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes in the Auckland region. In the 1,774 speed-related injury crashes recorded in the region between 1997 and 2001, 125 people were killed, 518 received serious injuries and 2,115 received minor injuries. Loss of control and head-on crashes were the most common speed-related type of crash, representing 68 percent of the crashes.”

Speed and lose

Although road safety agencies usually focus on the human losses through dangerous driving, other losses are also significant. “In the last five years, over half the 2,833 vehicles involved in speed related crashes received extensive damage, 267 rolled over and 18 caught fire. Fines, the inconvenience of licence loss and the growing social stigma of being caught speeding are all too frequent occurrences for some people”, says Peter Kippenberger.

Despite increased enforcement, Auckland drivers don’t think they will get caught

This year’s campaign builds on the controversial “Speak up to slow him down” campaign run last summer that focused on encouraging passengers to ask speeding drivers to slow down. The results of that campaign have helped shape this year’s ‘Losers’ campaign. Few Auckland drivers perceive that they are likely to be caught for speeding and less than half believe it is unacceptable to speed on the open road. But results from last year’s campaign also showed that over 60% of Auckland drivers were more likely to be aware of speeding, would keep below 110km/h on the open road, or ask speeding drivers to slow down. “With this campaign RoadSafe Auckland aims to encourage people to see speeding as unacceptable by focusing on all the ways speeding drivers can lose”, says Cr. Harland.

RoadSafe Auckland has again focused on motorway billboards, radio advertising and handout material to inform drivers that there are many things to lose by speeding. “Loss of licence through speeding has real consequences and is well portrayed in the campaign’s cinema ad which sounds like a public service announcement informing a patron that his mum won’t be picking him up from the movies tonight as losing his licence should be his punishment, not hers. This uses an element of humour while pinpointing that speeding is for losers”, says Cr Harland.

Police have stepped their speed enforcement with the introduction of highway patrols, use of laser speed detectors and more sophisticated targeting and profiling of speeding drivers. District Commander Roger Carson with overall Pan-Auckland road safety responsibility for the Police says, “The police are committed to stricter speed enforcement and proactive enforcement through highways patrols and providing increased speed detection resources will ensure anyone speeding will be caught sooner rather later.”

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