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“Truck safety awareness a holiday must”

“Truck safety awareness a holiday must” says Party Co-Leader

Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Friday 8 December 2006

Maori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples is taking a ride this Saturday (tomorrow) with Mainfreight, to promote safe driving over the holiday season as part of the Road Transport Forum NZ’s Truck Safety Awareness Drive.

“Christmas-New Year is traditionally a high-risk time to be on the roads. It’s vital we all take every step possible to reduce the number of accidents over this period” stated Dr Sharples, MP for Tamaki Makaurau. “The truck safety awareness message is an important part of making the roads safer for everyone”.

"Holidaying motorists need to remember that many heavy vehicle operators will still be working while most of us are taking a break", pointed out Dr Sharples.

“Modern trucks have greatly improved handling and braking power, but they aren’t cars. They aren’t as agile and take longer to stop. Motorists should allow for this as part of their holiday driving, especially when passing.”

“I expect seeing the road from the cab of a truck will give me a totally different perspective, but the message is the same for all road users: the road toll has been reducing but we all have to be extra alert over the holiday period to keep ourselves and our whanau safe.”

“We’re really keen – like all New Zealanders - for our whanau to stay alive” said Dr Sharples.

Injury is the leading cause of death for Maori under thirty years, with most occurring as a result of motor vehicle accidents on public roads.

Dr Sharples says consideration will be one of the keys to a low holiday period road toll.

“I know the Road Transport Forum is urging truck drivers to take greater care than usual, which is really great news” said Dr Sharples. “If other motorists show the same courtesy then we are all more likely to have a safe, as well as an enjoyable, Christmas-New Year break.”

ENDS


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