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Road safety educator calls for increased vigilance

Road safety educator calls for increased vigilance on New Zealand roads this long weekend

New Zealand’s largest Youth Road Safety Educator, is sending a timely reminder to keep road safety front of mind when travelling this Labour weekend. They are asking drivers and passengers to commit to giving the road their full attention to keep themselves and others safe by taking some simple, but essential road safety actions.

Last year 3 lives were lost over the October long weekend on New Zealand roads, with a further 26 people seriously injured,[1] and with the coming long weekend more drivers will be out and about on the country’s roads.

Road Safety Education Limited (RSE), provider of the RYDA road safety education programme would like to remind drivers that it’s not only their cars that have to be in top shape for holiday driving, they as a driver also have to be in peak condition - this means having enough sleep before setting off, taking regular breaks on long journeys, wearing your seat belt and minimising distractions within the car.

RYDA’s New Zealand Programme Manager, Maria Lovelock says “Speeding is unquestionably recognised as a major contributing factor to the number and severity of traffic crashes. When a vehicle’s speed increases, it impacts on the driver’s reaction time to a hazard and the need to adequately judge the distance required to stop.”
“The average time it takes for most alert and attentive drivers to react to a risky situation on the road is 1.5 seconds.”
“A fatigued or distracted driver (i.e. using a mobile phone) may take as long as three critical seconds to react, at 60 km / hour this is the equivalent of travelling blind for approximately 50 metres” said Ms Lovelock.

"We want everyone to enjoy the long weekend, but more importantly we want them to journey safely. We have recently seen a spike in road deaths on New Zealand roads, so many lives lost and countless families and friends lives left devastated. A few simple precautions on the road will keep the driver and their passengers safe”

RSE are providers of the RYDA programme, a series of practical and powerful workshops for high school students that challenge students to change the way they think about road safety and lay the foundation for safe road use throughout their lives.

RYDA teaches drivers how to manage distractions, give them an understanding and acceptance of the rules of the road and the laws of physics. It helps them to plan their journey and gives them strategies to avoid risk. It teaches passengers how to contribute positively to the car’s environment and speak up if they are uncomfortable.

RYDA is made possible through the strong support of corporate partners, BOC, NZ Steel, Alexander Group and Bridgestone, as well as community partner, Rotary.

[1] http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadtoll/holidayroadtolllabourweekend/

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