Police acknowledge devastating week on New Zealand's roads

Police acknowledge devastating week on New Zealand's roads

National News

It has been a disastrous week on New Zealand’s roads with 15 people losing their lives in the last seven days.

“Every death on our roads is a tragedy and 15 families who have lost a loved one are now dealing with the aftermath,” says Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff.

“It is saddening to see so many people dying on our roads because the majority of road crashes can be prevented by taking some simple steps to ensure your safety, and the safety of other road users.

“One of the biggest ways you can reduce your risk of being involved in a crash is to be mindful of other road users, and changing your driving to ensure you and your vehicle’s occupants arrive at your destination safely.

“We know people sometimes can make mistakes and the way you drive needs to allow for mistakes others may make.

“Being alert and aware of other road users means changing your driving to suit the conditions. This includes weather conditions, but also changes in traffic levels and road conditions.

“We also know if you are involved in a crash, regardless of the cause, speed and restraints are the factors that most affect the outcome. It’s the difference between serious injury and death, being maimed for life or walking away.”

The speed limit is the optimum speed for that road, however, the conditions at the time you’re driving may not be suitable for that speed.

There are several ways you can help yourself and others to stay safe on the roads, including:

  • Watch your speed
  • Reduce your speed in adverse conditions
  • Allow enough time for your journey and don’t rush
  • Make sure you and everyone in your car wears a seatbelt or has the appropriate restraint
  • Above all, drive considerately – the way we drive affects others.

Brake, the road safety charity, echoes these sentiments.

Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director says: "As an organisation that works with families bereaved in road crashes, we know the devastating and lasting impact they have on loved ones. It's extremely saddening that this week alone 15 families have had the terrible news that a loved one isn't coming home.

"As humans we all make mistakes, but there are simple things we can and should do to help protect ourselves and our loved ones. We urge drivers to check everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt or appropriate child restraint, keep within speed limits, drive to the conditions, and stay 100% focused on the road, every time you're at the wheel."

“This isn’t about blaming people,” says Assistant Commissioner Cliff. “It’s about lowering your chance of being involved in a serious or fatal crash by choosing to put your safety, and the safety of your passengers, first when you get behind the wheel.”

These 15 crashes are now under investigation and cause is yet to be established. All 15 cases are now subject to a coroner’s inquest.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre