Communities across New Zealand will be urging drivers to be a #roadsafetyhero and play their part in making roads safer as part of Road Safety Week 2016 (16-22 May), to help prevent needless deaths and injuries on the roads.
Last year 319 people were killed on NZ roads with on average six families every week receiving the devastating news that a loved one has been killed in a crash.
To mark the fifth Road Safety Week New Zealand, Brake, the road safety charity, along with sponsors QBE Insurance and supporters NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, Wellington Free Ambulance, St John and other road safety agencies, are calling on everyone to be a #roadsafetyhero.
The campaign urges everyone to make simple commitments to help make communities safer and protect all road users, because we all have a part to play in road safety. Drivers in particular are being asked to be a #roadsafetyhero by pledging to drive:
Slow – within speed limits and slowing down further around schools and homes
Sober – with zero alcohol and drugs in your system
Silent – by switching your phone off or putting it out of reach and minimising other distractions
Sharp – by being alert, not stressed tired or ill, and having regular eyesight tests
Secure – wearing a seatbelt and ensuring others do the same, on every trip, and keeping children in child restraints until they’re 148cm tall
Sustainable – leave the car at home when you can and walk, cycle or use public transport instead.
Make the Pledge online at www.brake.org.nz/pledge
As part of Road Safety Week, Brake is releasing a series of videos showing people being a #roadsafetyhero, thanks to support from Thrifty Car Rental. Brake is encouraging others to get involved and show how they are a #roadsafetyhero by making their own pledge. Go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz, download the #roadsafetyhero signboard, write your message and post a photo of it, or a video of you being a #roadsafetyhero, on social media.
Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ director, said: “We’ve all heard the message that everyone has a part to play in road safety, but there are still drivers who use roads without care for others and the consequences can be tragic and horrific. People killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, all because of a moment of inattention, impatience or a bad decision. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury.
“That’s why this Road Safety Week we’re calling on everyone to show how they can be a #roadsafetyhero for their family, their community, and everyone they share the road with. Remembering simple messages like slowing down around schools and homes, always wearing a seat belt and keeping your full attention on the road helps to keep you and others safe.”
National road policing manager, Steve Greally, NZ Police says: “Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for all drivers to reflect on their driving, and assess whether they are taking all the steps humanly possible to stay safe on our roads. What is incredibly sad and frustrating for police is attending crashes where simple road safety rules have not been followed.
“Police and our road safety partners work hard to reduce death and serious injuries on our roads, but we can’t do it alone. So please take a moment to reflect on your own driving and ask yourself are you doing everything in your power to reduce your road safety risk?”