Road safety the focus at Northland Fieldays 2024


Last week, representatives from the Northland Transportation Alliance, Auckland Transport, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA), NZ Police, ACC, Tasman District Council, and Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport took to Dargaville to talk to Northlanders about road safety at the annual Northland Field Days event.

“Te Tai Tokerau has one of the highest rates of road deaths and serious injuries of any region in Aotearoa” says Steve Mutton, Director Regional Relationships NZTA.

“We are all vulnerable in a crash and there isn’t just one fix that will stop the harm that is happening on our roads.”

The road safety stand proved popular, educating people interactively by providing them with real life examples of the implications of a crash.

Two crashed cars were on display, demonstrating the big difference between a 1 star and a 5 star vehicle in a crash.

Visitors were also encouraged to wear alcohol and drug impairment goggles while trying to perform activities, highlighting the severe impact that impairment can have while driving.

Inspector Anne-Marie Fitchett, Northland Road Policing Manager, NZ Police says that while there were lots of laughs from participants visiting the road safety stand, the message from road safety groups is serious.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a good driver – we’re only human and we can’t be perfect all of the time. But a mistake shouldn’t result in people getting seriously injured or killed.

“We are all responsible for road safety. Choices like wearing seatbelts save lives – it’s that simple. Wearing a seatbelt increases the chance of surviving a crash by 40 percent” says Inspector Fitchett.

Over 700 people trialled the seatbelt impact simulator, which demonstrates the impact of a crash while wearing a seatbelt at speeds between 5-7km/hr depending on weight.

Nicole Korach, Programme Manager – Road Safety Promotion, Northern Transportation Alliance says that people were shown the correct way to wear their seatbelt and how our body moves in a crash until it hits something.

“The key message to everyone was to always wear your seatbelt. Wearing your seatbelt can save your life.”

Northland Field Days is one of the largest events held in Te Tai Tokerau. This year there were over 19,000 visitors to the event.