The NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to plan ahead, stay alert and drive to the conditions this long weekend.
NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said while Police would be working hard to keep the roads safe over the weekend, drivers also had a responsibility to avoid crashes by respecting the road rules and driving to the conditions.
“Road crashes are inflicting a terrible price on families and communities across New Zealand every day, and we don’t want another long weekend to be marred by avoidable tragedies. Each of us can do our part by buckling up, keeping our speeds down and not driving when we are tired or after we’ve been drinking. These are simple things, and there is no excuse for breaking the road rules and putting others at risk.”
The NZTA is working to implement New Zealand’s Safer Journeys strategy, which recognises that reducing road deaths and injuries requires improvements across all facets of transport – driver behaviour, vehicles, and roads. The strategy is focused on creating a safe system by integrating all aspects of road safety: safer roads and roadsides; safer vehicles; safer road users and safer speeds.
Mr Dangerfield said drivers travelling too fast for the conditions were one of the biggest contributors to death and injury on New Zealand roads today. Last year speed was a factor in 29 percent of all road deaths (113 deaths), and 17 percent of injuries (2458 injuries).
“Speeding drivers put everyone using the road at risk. It’s important to remember that speed limits are the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in perfect conditions – and road conditions are rarely perfect.
“If you’re heading out on the road this weekend, remember to keep safe and drive to the conditions, look out for changes in traffic, road and weather conditions, and reduce your speed accordingly.”