Police is hitting the streets with a simple message for motorists – we want you here for Christmas.
More people have been killed on our roads this year than any year since 2010, and many have been left with life-long injuries.
Over the Christmas and summer periods – with their traditionally higher-than-usual road use - the joint Police-New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) campaign will focus on the four types of behaviour that contribute most to road trauma:
Going too fast for the conditions
Unrestrained vehicle occupants
Impairment from alcohol, drugs, and fatigue
Distracted drivers - especially mobile phones
The campaign, launched today, will include a reduced speed threshold from 18 December to 8 January. During this time drivers detected by a safe speed camera exceeding a posted speed limit by more than 4kph are likely to be ticketed.
“Our officers will still have discretion in how they deal with incidents and how they are enforced,” says Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Sandra Venables.
“Their focus will be on preventing harm on our roads.
“Police staff will be enabled to deal with offending in the most appropriate way, with well-considered prevention measures often more likely to influence positive change than a ticket.
“Nearly half of people who have interactions with Police have them at the roadside, so this is our best opportunity to get across the messages we want to share.
“We want to positively influence the mind-set and behaviours of drivers by talking about the four main contributors to road trauma.”
National Manager Road Policing Superintendent Steve Greally says the campaign is designed to reach people and get them thinking about being safe on the roads.
“Great driver behaviour complements all the work being done behind the scenes to make our roads and travel speeds safer,” he says.
“But at the end of the day, Police can’t be everywhere at once, or control the actions of every driver 24/7.
“We can’t be beside you in the car telling you to put your seatbelt on and slow down. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility.
“I encourage staff all to take every opportunity to remind people they come in contact with to be careful and responsible on the roads. We'll tell them ‘We want you here for Christmas’.”
The campaign will be backed up through social media, including a series of videos - featuring our blue Father Christmas and dogs called Fitzy and Tumeke - which relay road safety messages in a light-hearted way. They will be shared by our NZTA partners.