School students call on everyone to be a road safety hero this Road Safety Week


Students at schools across the country will be calling on everyone to Be a road safety hero alongside companies, communities, emergency services and road safety professionals during Road Safety Week (15-21 May).

As well as sharing road safety messages and highlighting the part everyone can play in making our roads safer, they will be celebrating their own local Road Safety Heroes, including school road patrols.

Over 100 schools around the country will join in a national Road Patrol Superhero Day on Wednesday 17 May, recognising the work that road patrol students do to help their peers get to and from school safely, and reminding drivers to slow down around schools and look out for children.

Some Road Patrol Superhero Day and other school activities are open for media to attend. For details contact Brake.

Police figures reveal that in 2022 there were over 4,000 officer-issued speed notices, and almost 35,000 speed camera notices issued for speed offences near schools during school hours [1]. Speeding around schools is particularly dangerous as it puts children, who are unable to effectively judge vehicle speeds, in danger [2].

Waka Kotahi and Beca will be visiting schools across the country alongside road works contractors to run activities that also help students learn about keeping safe around road works and the important work that road workers do.

This year is the 12th Road Safety Week New Zealand. It is coordinated by Brake and sponsored by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Beca. Over 900 organisations across the country have registered to join in with the week and the theme to Be a road safety hero, which recognises all those who work to make our roads safer and support people following a crash. This year the week also coincides with the 7th UN Global Road Safety Week, which has the theme Streets for Life #RethinkMobility. Some of the Heroes messaging during the NZ week will tie in with this #RethinkMobility theme.

Road Safety Week New Zealand(external link)

During the week Brake will be profiling the work of Road Safety Heroes around the country, from emergency services to road safety professionals, community representatives to companies. These Hero Stories will highlight the work individuals and organisations are doing to make roads safer.

Brake is also calling for individuals, communities and organisations to share stories of their own road safety heroes and commit to being road safety heroes themselves – through social media, in schools, in company team meetings or special events. They can also put them forward to Brake using the Hero nomination form for their story to be shared on social media.

Hero nomination form(external link)

Road Safety Week aligns with Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy to save lives on our roads. Activities during the week will highlight the part everyone can play in road safety and keeping ourselves and others safe. Find out more about Road to Zero at Participants in the week will also be learning about the safe system approach to road safety and the design-led solutions that can help us to reduce road deaths and injuries, including for roads and roadsides, speed limits, vehicles, road use and post-crash care.

Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy

Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ Director said: “We believe it’s everyone’s human right to be able to get around in a safe and healthy way every day. There are lots of people who work to make our roads safer, to save lives when crashes happen, and to support those affected by crashes, so this Road Safety Week we want to recognise all these Road Safety Heroes and highlight how everyone can be a hero too.

Kane Patena, Director of Land Transport, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said: “To achieve a vision of an Aotearoa New Zealand where there are no deaths and serious injuries on our roads, we need to work together. Every day there are many people working hard to make our roads safer and deliver Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy. Road Safety Week is a great opportunity to celebrate these road safety heroes.”

Andrea Rickard, GM Transport & Infrastructure – New Zealand, Beca said: “Improving road safety is a vital part of our work at Beca. We are proud to stand alongside Brake, Waka Kotahi, our partners and all of the road safety heroes in communities across Aotearoa, who work every day to make our roads safer. After the impact of the extreme weather events we’ve seen this year, we appreciate the people who work on our roads now more than ever! It means a lot to our Beca whānau to be part of promoting road safety messages to the communities we live and work in, particularly in our local schools.”

Superintendent Steve Greally, Director Road Policing says: “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Any road crash is potentially a tragedy for those involved, and their friends and whānau. Police is committed to reducing death and serious injury on our roads, and we work alongside our road safety partners to do this. But we cannot do it alone: we need everyone to be road safety heroes and help keep our roads safe.”  

Across the country numerous bridges, buildings and icons will light yellow for Road Safety Week, thanks to local councils and the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance, to highlight the importance of road safety and everyone being committed to reducing lives lost on our roads.

Thanks to Vector Lights, the Auckland Harbour Bridge will shine yellow from Monday 15 May – Thursday 18 May.

Media are invited to attend the following event: Road Safety Week partner event and launch
Location: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Westhaven Drive, Auckland
Date: Monday 15 May
Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Activities for photos/filming: Auckland Harbour Bridge Vector Lights, Road Safety Week partner photo call (5.50pm), presentations and videos of Road Safety Heroes (6.15pm)
Available for interview: Representatives from Brake, Waka Kotahi, Yellow Ribbon Alliance and others
Please contact Caroline Perry at Brake on, 021 407 953 if attending.

The Alliance, a group of organisations committed to raising awareness of road trauma in New Zealand, is promoting use of the colour yellow to highlight road safety and show a personal commitment to safer roads. Road Safety Week participants will Go Yellow and show their support by wearing yellow/ a yellow ribbon pin, or by displaying a yellow ribbon, and the public are encouraged to join in and show their support.

Road Safety Week events are happening around the country. Some events are open for media to attend for interviews, filming and photos. Some hero stories are also available to media. To find out more about activities or heroes in your area, view our website, or contact Caroline Perry on 021 407 953 or Communities can find ideas for taking part at link)

To find out more or take part in Road Safety Week, go to link)


[1] 2022 figures from NZ Police, accessed May 2023.

[2] Traffic at 30mph is too fast for children’s visual capabilities, University of Royal Holloway, London, 2010.