Saturday, April 20, 2024

Police say expect to see us anytime, anywhere

Police are urging drivers to take extra care while travelling to their holiday destination after a tragic number of deaths on New Zealand roads so far this year.

To encourage good driver behaviour, Police will be maintaining a highly visible presence on major highways throughout the country this summer.

“Expect to see Police patrols anytime, anywhere,” Assistant Commissioner Bruce O’Brien says.

“We will be out on roads in significant numbers, often in locations you least expect us to be. So please take your time and drive to the conditions.”

This year has been a tough one for everyone due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Asst Commissioner O’Brien said.

“People should be planning for Christmas festivities and holidays away, not organising tangi and funerals for loved ones who’ve died in car crashes.

“The impact on whānau, friends and communities is catastrophic when someone is killed in a road crash. It’s also incredibly frustrating for Police to see people losing their lives in completely preventable incidents.”

The same things are killing people on our roads, he said.

“Speed, alcohol, distraction and unrestrained drivers and passengers are still the main causes of death and serious injury.”

“Please be patient, everyone is trying to get to loved ones safely. We’d rather you arrive alive than not at all.”

Police remain focused on four main behaviours:

RESTRAINTS: Herenga

Restraints save lives – it’s that simple. Yet nearly a third of fatalities involve people not wearing their seatbelts. Anyone who chooses not to wear a seatbelt significantly increases their risk of injury or death if they end up in a crash.

IMPAIRMENT: Pīroiroi

Socialising is fun but drinking and driving should not be mixed. If you’re going to drive, avoid alcohol. Police will have a particular focus on drinking and driving this summer.

DISTRACTIONS: Wareatanga

Drive distraction free. Put the phone away or pull over.

SPEED: Tere

Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is the single biggest determinant in whether you walk away or are carried away. A small change in speed makes a big difference to injury severity in a crash – for you and everyone else involved.

Police will continue to have a visible presence on New Zealand roads this summer, taking enforcement action where necessary. But ultimately, drivers have the responsibility to keep their passengers, other road users, and themselves safe this holiday period.

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