“Be mindful on the roads before Christmas”

With seven more deaths than this time last year on the roads, Police are urging drivers to be mindful of others in the lead up to Christmas.

“This is a really high risk time on our roads, with people rushing around stressed and over tired with their minds on other things,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, National Manager, Road Policing.

“Fatigued minds and other distractions can lead to mistakes on the roads, so people need to adjust their driving to account for this.

“This means thinking about things like watching your following distances, delaying your travel if you’re tired, or perhaps choosing a time to travel when it’s less busy and congested.

Also making sure to ‘buckle up buttercup’ and putting away your phone so it won’t distract you are other things that can help make all of us safer on the roads.”

So far 307 people have lost their lives on our roads in 2016.

“So many families will be dealing with the grief of losing a loved one on our roads this Christmas, and that’s incredibly sad.

“We have the tendency to think it won’t happen to us, that we are good drivers.

What people need to realise is that it can happen to anyone, regardless of how many years you have been driving or what vehicle you are driving.

It might not even be your fault, but the fact of the matter is humans make mistakes.”

Police will maintain a highly visible presence on the roads over summer and will be using a range of tactics.

This includes focusing on those who choose to drive above the speed limit, those not buckled up, and those driving while impaired.

Like previous summers, speed cameras are positioned in high risk crash areas and are set to enforce a reduced speed threshold of 4km/h from 1 December through until 31 January 2017.

“While we will be out there working hard alongside our road safety partners to keep people safe this summer, we need the public to do their bit as we can’t be in the vehicle with them.

It comes down to making good decisions, like choosing to drive to the speed limit and the conditions, ensuring everyone is buckled up and not driving while impaired.”

You can also view this release, including any additional images, online at: http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/be-mindful-roads-christmas