Help take dangerous drivers off the road this Christmas

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Do you know someone who drinks and drives, or is blatantly ignoring a driving disqualification? Police in Central District are teaming up with Crimestoppers to encourage the public to ‘dob in a dangerous driver’ and ensure others road users reach their destination …Help take dangerous drivers off the road this Christmas

Do you know someone who drinks and drives, or is blatantly ignoring a driving disqualification?

Police in Central District are teaming up with Crimestoppers to encourage the public to ‘dob in a dangerous driver’ and ensure others road users reach their destination safely this Christmas.

Between 1 January and 30 November this year there were 2237 offences of drink-driving in Central District. In 506 of those cases it was the drivers’ third or subsequent offence.

During that same period there were 712 offences of people driving whilst disqualified. In 294 of those cases it was the drivers’ third or subsequent offence.

In ten of the 33 fatal crashes in the District so far this year alcohol is a likely aggravating factor. In four of the fatal crashes the driver was disqualified, unlicensed or driving on the wrong type of licence.

Road Policing Manager, Acting Inspector Jeanette Park said: “For a country and population the size of New Zealand those statistics are frightening; and that’s just the ones we caught! It is a blatant disregard for life that has to stop.

“The laws are there to protect the community, so we are asking that same community to help us to tackle this problem. Help us to prevent another family from having their Christmas ruined by a needless tragedy.”

Crimestoppers, an organisation independent of the Police, provides an ideal alternative for anyone who wants to do the right thing this Christmas but feels they can’t contact the Police direct. The information provided will be passed to Police, but anonymity is guaranteed. Your call will not be recorded and your call or online message will not be traced.

“All we need to know is who the driver is, where to find them and what they drive. That simple step could save lives,” said Inspector Park.

Road policing patrols will be operating throughout the Christmas holidays, also focusing on speed, seatbelts, cell-phone use and fatigue. A reduced speed tolerance will be enforced nationwide, meaning anyone caught driving more than 4km/h over the speed limit can expect a fine and demerits.

Motorists are also being encouraged to give their vehicles a thorough check before heading out onto the roads; paying particular attention to tyres.

To stay safe this Christmas:

• The simplest message is, if you drink – DON’T DRIVE.
• One person’s limit is not another’s. On different days at different times, depending on tiredness, stress levels, nutrition and other factors, a limit will change.
• Remember there is now a zero alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 20. The only safe option is not to drive.
• If you are going out and want to drink, arrange to stay over, or have responsible transport organised. Nominated sober drivers, taxis, public transport, dial-a-driver, are all options available.
• If your nominated sober driver drinks alcohol make alternative transport arrangements. Never get into a vehicle when you know the driver has been drinking.
• Keep your speed down. Don’t forget the reduced speed tolerance.
• Drive to the conditions
• Ensure you and all of your passengers are properly restrained.
• If you’re driving put your phone down. No phone call is that important.

General road safety advice if you are taking a trip over the holidays:

• Have your car serviced or at least do some basic maintenance checks – oil, water, wiper blades and tyres. Most tyre companies will provide pressure checks, top-up and puncture repairs for free.
• Map out your route.
• Check the weather and anticipated road conditions.
• Have a full tank of fuel and on a long trip work out in advance where you intend to re-fuel. Remember not all service stations are open 24hrs.
• Don’t just re-fuel your vehicle. Take regular rest breaks. New Zealand has a great cafe coffee culture so make the most of it. Keep bottled water in the vehicle to ensure you stay hydrated.
• Make sure there is plenty to keep children occupied. Bored and restless children are a distraction and can stress a driver.
• Keep an emergency pack to hand with water, snacks, warm clothing and a first aid kit in case or a breakdown. If you have a mobile phone make sure it is fully charged for an emergency but remember it is now against the law to use it while driving.

If you know of someone who is a danger on our roads call the police. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or submit information online via www.crimestoppers-nz.org

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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