Two days of bright sunshine had the Nelson-Tasman public out in force at the Nelson Golden Edge A&P Show at the Richmond Showgrounds.
Spotting a great opportunity for road safety engagement, Tasman Road Policing partnered up with Tasman District Council, insurer AMI and Downer to put together an interactive and educational stand that had the whole team flat out across the two days.
The team turned out with Police vehicles, impairment goggle activities, a seat belt simulator, the Decepta Car, all the dress-ups for the kids and some educational giveaways. It also caught the eye of the A&P Show Committee who awarded the stand ‘Best Large Trade Exhibit’.
Senior Constable Mel Allen, from the district Road Policing team, says the seat belt simulator - which mimics the impact of a crash - was a tangible way to get the message across about the importance of wearing seat belts.
“We set it to safely represent the impact of a crash at around 5-7 kilometres per hour. Even at this low speed, the physical impact is jarring and left many participants shocked at the impact.”
Senior Constable Mel Allen explaining the risks of having unsecured pets in a car.
Mel also wanted to highlight the dangers of having other items unsecured, namely the pet dog. A stand-in dog toy was used to show what would happen in a crash.
“I’m not sure many people think about what could happen to the dog. There are two things – the dog’s actual safety and then the damage it can do to passengers. It literally becomes a projectile.”
The Decepta Car was also on the stand, thanks to AMI. The car, which shows the extensive damage that can occur in cars with low safety ratings, is a fantastic tool to educate drivers on the importance of car safety ratings.
Tasman District Council Road Safety Coordinator Jeni Thornborough says having a combined presence with Police was invaluable.
“The Police presence with staff, vehicles, impairment goggles and all-round engagement was an absolute showstopper for us.”
Both Mel and Jeni agree that large-scale public events are ideal for engagement with the public on road safety, with plenty of time to discuss issues and answer questions.
“The A&P show was an outstanding success in terms of the number of people we got to talk with and the time we could spend discussing road safety," says Mel. "Winning a ribbon was just the icing on the cake.”
The road safety-themed stand from Police, Tasman District Council, AMI and Downer won 'Best in Show' for the large trade exhibits.