Waka Kotahi, Police, ACC, Ministry of Transport, Auckland Transport and WorkSafe are joining up to urge people to stay safe on the road this Matariki weekend.
With the first mid-winter long weekend approaching, driving to the conditions is key to staying safe on the road. Whether it’s wet, slippery, or icy on the road, planning ahead, allowing extra time and driving slower makes a difference.
“It gets dark earlier, and the weather conditions can be trickier this time of the year. It only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions. Make sure you check your tyre tread and pressure, use headlights, and take extra care – it’s simple, easy and helps save lives,” says Kane Patena, Director of Land Transport at Waka Kotahi.
Police have staff patrolling the road every day, and they will be visible out on the roads this long weekend.
“Over the recent weekend we again saw how devastating a mistake can be on the road. In one moment, seven lives were lost in the most horrific way and two people are still in hospital. We do not want to see anything like this happen again this coming weekend,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, Director of the National Road Policing Centre.
“Police can’t control the actions of every driver 24/7. Being safe on the road is something we all have to take responsibility for. So, Police and our road safety partners at Waka Kotahi, ACC, Auckland Transport, and Worksafe are all pleading for everybody on the road this weekend to take care.”
“I will always tell people to remember the basics; put your seatbelt on, your phone away, and focus on the road. Never ever drink and drive, and make sure you watch your following distances. You want to give yourself space to react if something goes wrong on the road ahead. You may not make a mistake but somebody else might.”
ACC injury prevention leader James Whitaker asks people to please have a ‘hmmm’ before you head out on the roads this long weekend and think about the best ways you can keep yourself and others safe.
“Crashes are preventable – you can avoid them by making smart choices when you’re behind the wheel.”
“With winter setting in, consider delaying your journey if the conditions are particularly bad. If you do have to go out on the road, adjust your speed and following distances accordingly, stay focused and avoid distractions.”
“We all need to play our part to keep everyone safe and ensure this holiday is remembered for the right reasons,” says Mr Whitaker.
Waka Kotahi vehicle safety checklist and winter driving checklist provide simple tips for getting ready ahead of the Matariki weekend.
If anybody witnesses dangerous driving behaviour at any time, Police urge people to call 111 to report it to.
Waka Kotahi notes to media
When it’s dark, it may be harder to spot pedestrians and cyclists. In some countries with long and dark winters, wearing reflectors or hi-vis is a regular part of winter clothing in the darker months. This helps drivers spot people who are walking or cycling from a distance.
A person driving with low-beam headlights will typically detect a pedestrian approximately 50 metres away if the pedestrian is not wearing a reflector. A person wearing a reflector can be seen as far as 350 metres away.
ACC notes to media
ACC runs Drive, an online learning tool for young drivers, and the Ride Forever coaching programme for motorcyclists.
Young drivers (aged 16 to 24) make up just 13% of licence holders but represent 30% of serious injuries and 26% of deaths.
Data shows young drivers who have used the Drive programme as part of the licensing process make about 40% fewer ACC claims than those who have not used the programme.
Motorcyclists are also at higher risk on the road, with the likelihood of death or serious injury 21 times higher than a car driver travelling over the same distance.
Data shows riders who have completed a Ride Forever coaching course are up to 50% less likely to lodge a motorcycle accident claim than non-trained riders.
Issued by the Police Media Centre