Canterbury Police are continuing their road policing focus in January as part of Operation Capricorn, targeting at risk behaviour and locations across Canterbury to reduce road trauma.
Traditionally we see a significant increase in crash rates on State Highway 7, State Highway 73 and State Highway 1 during December and January says Acting Canterbury Police District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Ash Tabb. “During the 2015/16 holiday period in Canterbury only one person didn’t make it home to their family due to a fatal crash. While one person lost is one too many this is a great improvement on the holiday road toll last year in Canterbury where six fatal crashes claimed six lives”
“The effect of serious and fatal crashes impact not only the people directly involved but their family, friends and community. The provisional Canterbury road toll for 2015 sits at 46 which is over 24% higher than the previous year (2014) where the road toll reached 37. We also saw a 22% increase in the total number of crashes during December 2015 compared to December 2014.”
“Unfortunately while we see a number of serious crashes in the Christchurch Metro area, the majority are in rural or semi-rural areas in Selwyn, North Canterbury and Mid-South Canterbury.”
“It may not be your mistake that causes a crash so drive defensively and expect the unexpected, particularly near intersections in rural areas. The school holidays also means there are more children around during the day so check your speed and take care especially when driving near driveways, playgrounds and car parks.”
Inspector Tabb said all road users need to take responsibility for their decision to use their vehicle and how they use it. “We all have a responsibility to stop a mate driving drunk and to turn off our mobile phones if you haven’t got a hands free kit installed. Your decision to get behind the wheel or on your bike when you’re intoxicated, tired or distracted could be live changing and not in a good way.”
“Seat belts and child restraints do save lives and cost nothing but a few seconds to secure them. They really can make the difference in a crash between suffering a minor, moderate or serious injury and a loss of life.”
If you are stopped by Police you should expect to be breath tested no matter what the time of day or night. As part of Operation Capricorn Police will have high visibility patrols on Canterbury roads, check points and camera vans targeting at risk locations and driver behaviour.”
Before you set off plan your journey and include regular breaks, avoid alcohol if you’re driving and make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt and children are using an appropriate child restraint. When you’re driving check your speed and drive to the conditions. Posted speed limits are maximums in ideal conditions not a target.
Check out the NZTA website or social media channels before you set off or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS to access 24/7 highway conditions and travel information.
Remember to always call 111 in an emergency.
Non-injury crashes, erratic driving, traffic congestion, breakdowns and highway obstructions can be reported to Police by calling *555 from your mobile phone. Your call could prevent a life changing crash.
Issued by: Lisa-Marie Brooks, District Communications Manager, Canterbury Police District