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Be prepared not to drive impaired

Police launched their summer road safety campaign in Wellington today, warning against driving impaired by fatigue, drugs or alcohol.

The message from NZ Police and the NZ Transport Agency to road users is simple: remain focused and drive as if your life and the lives of those around you depend on it. Be courteous, be cautious, and look out for one another.

Too many people have already died on the roads this year, said Sandra Venables, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing.

“Decisions you make as a driver impact not only on you, but all other road users. You have a responsibility to drive safely on behalf of everyone you are sharing the road with.

“Our staff will be targeting the four main behaviours we know contribute to death and serious injury on the road – not wearing your seatbelt, driving impaired (by fatigue, drugs, or alcohol), driving distracted (such as using a cell phone), and speeding.”

Venables said that passengers also need to make good decisions. If they have any doubts about a driver, they need to speak up, find someone else to drive, or find another option to get to where they need to be.

Next week, Police will launch the first of four social media videos to back up their on-road activity, by getting people to think about risky behaviour that puts lives in danger.

“If officers witness people undertaking any of these risky behaviours on our roads, or we are advised of risky driver behaviour, we will take action either at the time or by follow up enquiries,” Venables said.

“We will continue to have a strong operational focus on road safety over the higher risk periods, which will involve all Police staff, not just our road policing teams. Our staff will be visible and assisting you to get to your destinations safely by targeting unsafe behaviours.”

NZ Transport Agency Safety and Environment Director Harry Wilson says the high number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads affects families and communities across New Zealand.

“As always, Police will be working incredibly hard to keep New Zealanders safe this summer but all of us need to play our part to ensure we and our loved ones arrive safely.

“Agencies can’t do this alone. We need everyone’s help to keep the roads safe, road safety is everybody’s responsibility.”