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Kiwis asked to buckle up and put down the phone to mark Road Safety Week

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Road safety partners NZ Police and NZ Transport Agency are teaming up to support road safety charity Brake this Road Safety Week (7-13 May).

To mark Road Safety Week, Brake and its partners are calling on Kiwi drivers to commit to buckling up and putting the phone down every time they get behind the wheel.

NZ Transport Agency Director of Safety and Environment Harry Wilson says the message for drivers is simple; turn off your phone and wear your seat belt.

“We all make mistakes when we’re driving, which is why it’s so important that we all do the simple things that reduce the chance of mistakes happening and lessen the impact if mistakes do happen.

“That means choosing to turn off your phone or put it into flight mode so you’re not distracted by calls or messages and always wearing your seatbelt. This is not complicated or difficult. It’s simple, basic road safety 101, and every one of us can pass this course.”

Inspector Peter McKennie, Acting National Manager for Road Policing agrees, saying people need to remember road safety is everybody’s responsibility.

“It’s important everybody plays their part in keeping people safe on the road. For drivers it’s easy – pay attention to the job at hand; driving with care and focus.

“Leave the phone alone. Is your life worth a text? Is someone else’s?

“Things can change quickly on the road, and if you’re not paying attention you could lose critical reaction time. Could you live with yourself if you killed someone with your car?

“It’s also important to remember to wear your seatbelt; because if something does go wrong, that seatbelt improves your chances of coming through it with your life.

“Our staff will be focussed on preventing harm and addressing poor driver behaviour, as they are every week. I hope this week drivers are more vigilant about wearing seatbelts and paying attention to their driving, and that this is something that stays with them for good.”

Harry Wilson says all of the agencies are working together, and supporting organisations like Brake in the important work they do to spread the road safety message.

“We can’t do it alone, we need everyone to be responsible and look out for each other on our roads, so we can all get to where we’re going safely.

For more information about Road Safety Week and what you can do to get involved go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz(external link)

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