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Drive To Survive This Holiday Season

Drive To Survive This Holiday Season

“Drive to the conditions and take extra care on the roads this summer, Minister for Transport Safety, Harry Duynhoven said today.

“Many New Zealanders will take to the roads in the coming days as we travel home to families and arriving at our destination safely is paramount.

“Already this year, our road toll has surpassed the record low road toll of 391 deaths set last year. This holiday period, I urge you to take heed of the road safety messages and drive to survive on the roads.

“Holiday driving has its special hazards and this year we want to remind people to drive to the conditions and adjust their speed accordingly. The roads are going to be busy and we all need to be patient. There is simply no excuse for many of the big killers on our roads – speeding, alcohol and risky overtaking,” said Mr Duynhoven.

Last week, the Government launched a major new road safety strategy to combat driver fatigue and this holiday period, New Zealanders are urged to think about the dangers of fatigue on the roads.

“Driver fatigue is a serious road safety issue in New Zealand and was a contributing factor in more than 40 deaths and nearly 1000 injuries in road crashes last year.

“Crashes involving driver fatigue are often the most violent on the road as they occur when people have fallen asleep or react too late to brake or avoid an impending crash. If people can recognise the signs of oncoming fatigue they can then take action, such as pulling over for a 20 minute power nap, getting someone who is not tired to drive or just breaking their journey, “ Mr Duynhoven said.

The most common effects of fatigue on driving are difficulty keeping a vehicle within its lane, drifting off the road, frequent and unnecessary changes in speed and not reacting in time to a dangerous situation.

“I urge all New Zealanders to follow a few simple rules on the road this summer including:

  • having your vehicle checked before travelling

  • being courteous and patient with other road users

  • always wearing your safety belt and ensuring passengers do the same; and

  • being extra vigilant around children, cyclists and pedestrians.

“I wish all New Zealanders a safe and happy Christmas with their families and friends.”

Further information about safe holiday driving can be found on the Land Transport New Zealand website (www.landtransport.govt.nz) or in the New Zealand Road Code.

ENDS

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