Communities, organisations and individuals across New Zealand are calling for safe roads, vehicles and drivers as part of Road Safety Week 2019 (6-12 May), to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on roads.

This year Road Safety Week NZ coincides with the UN’s Global Road Safety Week and has the same theme, Save Lives #SpeakUp. The global week calls for further leadership in road safety from governments to reduce road trauma and calls on everyone to #SpeakUp about local issues that affect their community.

After a shocking start to the year on the roads, with the worst April in a decade, Brake, the road safety charity, which coordinates the week in NZ, says much more work is needed to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the country’s roads.

In 2018, 377 people were killed on NZ roads. So far this year over 140 people have been killed, 45 of those in April alone. Thousands of others are seriously injured each year, and the social cost of crashes is now estimated at $4.8 billion a year.

“Every year families suffer the devastating consequences of crashes on our roads. There is a lot of work to do to reduce those deaths and serious injuries and we all need to speak up and make a difference,” said Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ director. “People make mistakes on roads, but those mistakes shouldn’t result in death or serious injury. Others take unacceptable risks and put innocent lives in danger. We’re urging everyone to speak up for road safety. Speak up for safe roads, safe speed limits, safe vehicles and safe drivers. No loss of life is acceptable on our roads. Join in with Road Safety Week and #SpeakUp about the issues that matter to you and your community.”

Road Safety Week was launched by Brake, sponsors QBE Insurance and the NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police, St John, Auckland Transport, the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance, Safekids Aotearoa and others at Takanini School in Auckland.