NZ Police: Drive safely this Easter

Update: 2:06PM NEW Zealand: BE cautious and courteous on the road this Easter.

That is the message from the New Zealand Police, the NZ Transport Agency, and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) as movement is expected to intensify into the long Easter weekend.

Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Sandra Venables said people needed to remember that road safety was everybody’s responsibility.

“Last Easter, poor driver behaviour and speed were the main contributing factors of crashes,” Ms Venables said.

She said the most common factors were people not driving to the conditions, driving under the influence of alcohol, or being distracted.

“We want all road users to take care of themselves and their passengers.

“We know the four main behaviours that contribute to road trauma are going too fast for the conditions, impairment such as fatigue, drugs or alcohol, distractions such as using a cell phone, and not wearing seatbelts.

“I would like to see everybody make it through the weekend safely.”

She said their staff would be out on the roads focused on preventing harm and addressing poor driver behaviour.

NZ Transport Agency director Safety and Environment Harry Wilson said because there would be more people on the roads over the holiday weekend, it was important to plan ahead and be patient if they were caught up in traffic.

“We don’t want to see people getting impatient and taking unnecessary risks such as dangerous overtaking manoeuvres or following too closely,” Mr Wilson said.

“Everyone can get real-time travel information at, so plan your journey and plan to take regular breaks and share the driving where you can. We want everyone to get to their destination safely this weekend,” he said.

ACC chief customer officer Mike Tully said the safety messages “absolutely” applied to motorbike riders who were even more vulnerable.

“We’ve had lots of riders out enjoying the fantastic weather over summer, but sadly 19 riders and two pillions have lost their lives so far this year,” Mr Tully said. 

“As we move towards winter, and more challenging conditions on the roads, we want people to ride within their capability; at a pace that feels comfortable, and to wear good quality safety gear. 

“Motorcycle riding is acknowledged as high risk but knowing how to handle the conditions can reduce that risk. That’s why we think Ride Forever safety training courses are so great; we’d love to see every rider do a course – it could be a lifesaver.”

Assistant Commissioner Venables said even with all the agencies working together, “we still need all road users to be responsible and look out for each other, so everyone can get where they’re going safely”.

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