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Police and LTSA plea for safe driving this Easter

Police and LTSA plea for safe driving this Easter

Police and the Land Transport Safety Authority are pleading with drivers to use common sense and keep safe on the roads this Easter weekend, following a recent spate of crashes which has pushed the number of road deaths for this year to 143, up from 123 at the same time last year.

Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright said 34 people were killed in a ten day span from 28 March to 6 April this year - nine more than died in the entire month of April 2002.

"Eighteen of those 34 deaths involved speed or alcohol, six involved driver fatigue and four people died because they weren't wearing safety belts. It's a terrible waste, and it shows that we can't afford to forget the basics of safe driving - buckle up, stay sober, keep your speed down and don't drive when you're tired. When people ignore these fundamentals, the results can be deadly."

Inspector John McClelland said the police Highway Patrol would be out in full force over the Easter weekend. While drink-driving and speed enforcement will be top of the list for enforcement, police are also asking drivers to help themselves stay safe and ensure that traffic flows properly.

"The first thing drivers need to do is keep left - stay on your own side of the road," Inspector McClelland said. "Secondly, we’re asking slower drivers to be aware of other traffic and pull over when traffic begins to build up behind them."

Driver fatigue is also being targeted over the weekend, with several "driver reviver" stops offering drivers a free snack, a cup of coffee and a chance to take a break and stretch their legs.

Easter two of three Mr Wright said that with extra traffic on the open road over the holiday period, drivers should allow extra time for their journeys.

"There's nothing heroic about driving for hours on end or at dangerous speeds to get to your destination on time. Fatigue is a killer and driving when you're tired is as dangerous as it is irresponsible. Give yourself enough time to drive at a safe speed and plan on taking breaks. Share the driving if you can, and if you're feeling tired pull over in a safe place and have a rest. We have enough white crosses lining our roads as it is - let's not add any more this weekend."

Three people died and 213 were injured in crashes on our roads over the Easter weekend last year. Over 60 percent of the crashes last Easter weekend happened on the open road.

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