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Motorists urged to stay safe

Motorists urged to stay safe, save money and protect the climate

Associate Minster for Transport Judith Tizard is urging motorists travelling home after Christmas and New Year holidays to take some simple steps to keep themselves safe, save money and reduce their impact on the environment.

"At a time when traffic on our roads is heavy there are a number of simple steps that all motorists can take which will not only ensure people get home safely, but that will save them money and reduce our emissions of climate changing and noxious gases," said Judith Tizard.

These steps include:

• Drive less aggressively -reducing hard acceleration and braking will give you substantial savings in fuel;

• Maintain your car regularly - keep the engine tuned, keep wheels aligned and keep tyres properly inflated to save between 10 and 20 percent in fuel consumption and reduce harmful emissions;

• Take your roof rack off if it's not needed - it adds five percent to the fuel bill.

"The average New Zealand household spends around 18 percent of total household expenditure on transportation*. Following these simple steps can significantly reduce your fuel bill.

"Every step that we can take to reduce our energy consumption, including petrol and diesel, directly reduces the amount of climate changing CO2 gas that we release into the atmosphere," said Ms Tizard.

"The transport sector contributes some 45 percent of New Zealand's total CO2 emissions so taking some of these simple steps is a win-win-win solution.

"If we keep ourselves and our families safe on the roads this summer, we can also save ourselves money and, along the way, do our bit to combat climate change and protect the great Kiwi lifestyle," she said.

"New Zealand is a nation of four million careful owners. Taking care on our roads is a practical, everyday way of showing we care - for ourselves as well as our environment."

Judith Tizard launched the government's Vehicle Emissions Policy on 1 October 2003. Public education about the importance of regular vehicle maintenance to reduce the harmful effects of poisonous vehicle emissions is a cornerstone of the policy. More information is available here.

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