Safer February for everyone

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Road safety organisations are working together this February to keep road safety in the minds of all travellers throughout the country.Safer February for everyone
Road safety organisations are working together this February to keep road safety in the minds of all travellers throughout the country.

Police will be out in all parts of the country providing high-visibility policing and reminding drivers to be mindful of their following distances. Police will also be enforcing the lowered speed tolerance to more than 4km for the weekend and the entire month of February. Action will be taken against any driver detected driving at more than four k/m over the permanent posted speed limit and all drivers stopped will be breath tested.

“Last year we had the lowest road toll we have ever had,” said Acting Superintendent Rob Morgan, “and we need to take action to keep that going. We know that keeping speeds down has a significant part to play and so we make no apologies for keeping the pressure on. In fact, we know that the holiday periods that have had the lower speed tolerance have had fewer crashes and those crashes that do occur are often less serious.”

ACC Head of Injury Prevention and Insurance Products, Peter Wood, agreed saying:

“Road accidents come at a huge cost to New Zealanders, not only in terms of the personal cost to those involved in crashes and their families, but in terms of the financial impact too. Last financial year, ACC paid out around $390 million in rehabilitation and financial compensation to people affected by motor vehicle injuries. That’s a huge cost to the country that could be reduced if we all make a commitment to be safer drivers.”

Ministry of Transport Acting General Manager Road and Rail, Barry Kidd said reducing the numbers of deaths and injuries on New Zealand roads meant everyone doing their part.

“Since the Government released its Safer Journeys strategy a lot of legislation changes have been made to improve road safety. These have ranged from raising the driving age to increased penalties for dangerous driving that causes death. But reducing road deaths and injuries is about more than just laws, and we all need to take the steps we can and make safety a priority when we’re on the roads.”

NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield welcomed the Police’s low tolerance to speeding, and stressed that while Waitangi Day weekend marks the end of the busy holiday period, it’s important drivers do not get complacent on the roads.

“This will be our last holiday break for a while, and the roads will be busy. It’s going to be hot, and that’s when we really need drivers to be at their most careful and courteous.

Our priority is for everyone to have a safe holiday, and to get home in one piece. We urge drivers to watch their speeds, drive to the conditions, and get plenty of rest.”

Police say the “Safer February” campaign will begin tomorrow at 4pm and continue throughout February ending at midnight on 29th February.

The campaign is designed reduce the risks to all road users but will also accentuate the positive and encourage all road users to be patient and courteous towards each other as they travel around the country.

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