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Duynhoven: Safe summer driving

Wednesday 20 December 2006 Media Statement

Safe summer driving

Many New Zealanders will be driving on the roads this summer and with the proper care and attention, we can all arrive at our planned destinations safely, Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven said today.

"Most accidents on our roads are preventable if the road rules are obeyed and drivers pay attention to the task at hand. Driving is a not a part-time job and requires the utmost attention. It is all about planning and thinking ahead," said Mr Duynhoven.

There are a few simple steps drivers should take to increase their safety and the safety of their passengers and other road users:

 Drive to the conditions;
 Ensure everyone is wearing a seatbelt;
 Make sure your vehicle is road worthy;
 Keep your attention on the job at hand;
 Minimise distractions in the car;
 Don't drink and drive or speed; and
 If you are feeling tired, pull over and have a short power nap.

"Holidays are supposed to be relaxing, but it can be tiring driving long distances. I am very concerned that many people drive for long hours or drive when they have not had enough sleep. Driver fatigue is the cause of many accidents. If you are feeling tired, take a power nap for 20 minutes. Keep an eye out for special driver fatigue stops and take advantage of these.

"People should drive to the conditions and adjust their speed accordingly. The roads are going to be busy and we all need to be patient. Inevitably traffic is going to be slow at times, and while this can be frustrating, it is no excuse for risky over-taking. If you are a slow driver or are towing a trailer, please be courteous and pull over regularly, when safe, to let other traffic pass.

"This Government is committed to reducing the road toll. Our road toll is currently at a record low and we want to keep the trend downwards. Take care on the roads this summer. I wish all travellers a safe and happy holiday," said Mr Duynhoven today.

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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