With a sharp increase in the number of people killed in crashes not wearing seatbelts, Police are using the long weekend to launch their ‘Buckle up buttercup’ campaign to encourage everyone to wear their seatbelt.
“Typically, each year around 60 people killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts, however last year that number jumped to over 90, says Dave Cliff, Assistant Commissioner, Road Policing.
“As of 12 October this year, 71 people have been killed while not wearing a seatbelt, which is a real concern with over two months left in the year.”
“Couple this with a reduction in the national wearing rates of seatbelts as reported in the latest Ministry of Transport national survey, and you can see that this is a serious road risk that needs to be addressed.”
“Sadly, the wearing of a seatbelt for some is not a habit and as a consequence far too many people are being needlessly killed and injured in crashes.
By wearing a seatbelt, you increase your chance of surviving a crash by up to 50%: “We need the public’s help to take the ‘buckle up buttercup’ theme on-board.
“Seatbelts save lives. It’s that simple.” Says Mr Cliff.
Police will have a highly visible and active presence on the road during Labour Day Weekend, focusing on high risk driving behaviour using a mixture of enforcement activities.
As per previous long holiday weekends, speed cameras will be positioned in high risk crash areas and set to enforce a reduced speed threshold of 4km/h over Labour Day weekend.
During Labour Day Weekend 2015, five people died and 21 people were seriously injured.
“With Labour Day Weekend being the first long weekend in a while, people will be looking to get away and take advantage of the longer days and hopefully nicer weather, says Mr Cliff
“We want people to have fun on their well-deserved break, and come back in one piece with great memories. But we need people to be thinking safety first, especially on our roads and beaches.”
Beach vehicle safety is another area of concern for Police: “Many people don’t realise that the beaches with vehicle access are legal roads. Those beaches have speed limits that need to be kept to for the safety of everyone on the beach, seatbelts need to be worn at all times, and road safety rules must be followed, for example not driving while impaired, and not using your phone while driving.”
“You can’t afford to be distracted while driving when you have kids running around and people coming in and out of the water.
“The other thing to consider is that the road you are driving on changes twice a day, with shifting tides generating soft patches and exposing hazards like logs and rocks. You have to drive to the speed limit and the conditions.
“There has been a high number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads this year, leaving a devastating impact on a number of families and communities. We want to stop that from happening to others this Labour Day Weekend but we cannot do it alone, we need the public’s help.
Put your own safety, your families, and those you share the road with first.”
• ‘Buckle up buttercup’ Police social media video: https://www.facebook.com/NZPolice/videos/949942815139702/
• Ministry of Transport Labour Day Weekend statistics: http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadtoll/holidayroadtolllabourweek...
• Ministry of Transport Road Safety Survey: http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadsafetysurveys/safetybeltstatis...
Issued by Police Media Centre