With the festive holiday season just around the corner, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Police have a simple message for Kiwis: Arrive alive – if you’re drinking, don’t drive.
“Tragically around 400 people continue to be killed or seriously injured on New Zealand roads every year in crashes where the driver was impaired,” says Waka Kotahi General Manager Safety, Health and Environment Greg Lazzaro.
National Road Policing Manager Acting Superintendent Gini Welch says no-one’s holiday needs to be ruined by an avoidable tragedy on the roads this year, and we all have the power to make good decisions which will keep the roads safe for everyone.
The message is clear – make the right choice these holidays – if you’re drinking, don’t drive.
Mr Lazzaro says a new Waka Kotahi advertising campaign launched yesterday supports that message by targeting drivers who have developed a sense of complacency about the risk of impaired driving.
“Unfortunately there are still a lot of Kiwi drivers who don’t think it’s a problem to drive after drinking. They know that drinking increases their chance of crashing, and they know the consequences of being stopped by Police, but they’re still willing to take the chance.
“Anyone can make a mistake when driving, but alcohol impairment can turn that mistake into a life changing, tragic event. Deaths and serious injuries on our roads are not inevitable, and New Zealanders absolutely do not need to accept that serious crashes are just another part of the holidays.”
Superintendent Gini Welch says Police will be working hard throughout the holidays and all summer long to keep everyone safe.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to prevent drink-driving through impairment check points and random roadside testing. But we also ask people to make responsible decisions that don’t risk lives.
“In the five years from 2015 to 2019, 374 people were killed in crashes where the driver was over the legal alcohol limit, and nearly 1,600 people were seriously injured in those crashes. That’s a lot of lives, a lot of people who could still be here today or who would not be suffering the ongoing effects of serious injury had the drunk drivers in those crashes made a different choice.
“We know people like to socialise and celebrate at the end of the year, and that’s ok. What we ask is that you please plan ahead. If you’re drinking, don’t drive.
“That means getting a cab, or getting a mate to be the sober driver. Take turns over the summer so you get home safe at the end of the night. You wouldn’t want your family on the same road as a drunk driver so don’t put yourself, or someone else’s family, in that danger by getting behind the wheel drunk.”
Please look after each other, driver sober and arrive alive.
Improving safety on New Zealand roads is a top priority for Police and Waka Kotahi. Both organisations are committed to Vision Zero, which aspires to a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Waka Kotahi and Police are working together with local government and others to deliver Road to Zero(external link), the government’s road safety strategy for 2020-2030. Road to Zero aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 percent over the next 10 years.
The Waka Kotahi road safety advertising campaign supports Police efforts to deter risky driving behaviour. While targeted publicity increases awareness, the reality of police enforcement and ‘getting caught’ is also a strong incentive for drivers to change their behaviour. The new drink-drive campaign is being rolled out through television, in cinemas, on billboards, Facebook, YouTube, video on demand and posters and coasters in provincial pubs