Working Together For A Safe And Enjoyable Summer
As Kiwis countdown towards a much-anticipated summer break, your safety and that of others on our roads should be a priority this holiday season.
Current figures indicate we are likely to see fewer deaths on our roads than in 2022 and while it’s worth noting a reduction in deaths and serious injuries, the efforts remain ongoing to ensure less lives are lost this festive season.
Bryan Sherritt, Road Safety spokesperson at Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport, is encouraged by the provisional numbers but conscious more work is needed by road safety partners and the public to see greater results.
“Based on current statistics, there are less families impacted by harm on our roads this year and over the holiday season when compared to last year, meaning more people who will get to enjoy the Kiwi summer with loved ones and that’s a positive worth taking note of.
“However, our road safety agencies and advocates continue to work in collaboration, all with the unified focus of preventing deaths and serious injuries and strengthening our safe system approach to protect people from road trauma.
Under this approach, an international best practice is adopted which accepts that humans are vulnerable and we make mistakes.
“It’s the same message, ‘Everyone has a role to play to reduce serious crashes and save lives,”
A message that is echoed by Police who will be patrolling roads across Aotearoa New Zealand this summer and doing their part with prevention and enforcement.
“Expect to see Police patrols anytime, anywhere,” Director of National Road Policing Centre, Superintendent Steve Greally says as he pinpoints that it is the same things killing people on our roads.
“Speed, alcohol, drugs, distraction and unrestrained drivers and passengers are still the main causes of death and serious injury. If you are caught this summer to be speeding, intoxicated, on your phone or not wearing a seatbelt, you should expect a ticket.”
“Our staff will be out on roads, often in locations you least expect us to be. So please take your time and drive to the conditions.”
NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Senior Road Safety Manager, Fabian Marsh, encourages New Zealanders to be patient and expect disruption while important works are undertaken to improve the network.
“We’re making progress in maintaining and improving roads across the country throughout the summer—which means travellers will need to expect delays and detours.
“We want you to get to your friends and whānau safely, so when you’re out on the roads this summer, drive to the speed limit and conditions, don’t drink and drive, make sure you’re rested, and plan ahead.”
Checking the updated safety rating on your car, which have been available on the Rightcar website since the start of this month, could be included as part of these plans.
It’s an approach endorsed by Superintendent Greally.
“While Police focuses on driver’s behaviours when it comes to road safety, the safety of our vehicles is equally important in reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”
Mr Marsh also emphasised the safety of road workers who often are out in all weather and doing their best to keep everyone moving. He advised all road users to be tolerant and respectful of all crew members and follow any instructions on site. They are helping to keep you safe.
For road users, plan ahead before you begin your trip. Up-to-date travel information and journey times can be found by visiting our website www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/journey-planner(link is external)
The official 2023 Christmas New Year holiday period begins 4pm on Friday 22 December and ends 6am on Wednesday 3 January, 2024.
As at 18 December 2023, 319 people have lost their lives on New Zealand’s roads. Please note that these figures are provisional and may include deaths or crashes which are subsequently excluded.
For up to date statistics, direct queries to Te Manatū Waka or visit https://www.transport.govt.nz/statistics-and-insights/safety-road-deaths/(link is external)