Police appeal for safe roads this Labour Weekend

Police are advising motorists to check regional Covid-19 restrictions ahead of the weekend. Suppled photo. NZ Police.

Police are asking drivers to play their part in keeping roads in the region safe so that everyone can arrive alive and enjoy their long weekend plans.

Labour Weekend is the first long weekend for many months and marks the shift of seasons into warmer weather, bringing cyclists and motorcyclists back onto the roads.

Police are reminding drivers that what they do and how they behave on the roads affects not just them, but also their passengers and other road users.

“We want everyone travelling on our roads this long weekend to do so safely. We will be out targeting and preventing unsafe behaviour but we also need your help,” says director of road policing Superintendent Steve Greally.

Driving too fast for the conditions is one of four main behaviours contributing to death and injury on our roads, along with driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue; driving while distracted, including using a device, and not being properly restrained.

“Speeding, distractions, and bad decision-making on the road can have devastating consequences, and that’s why it’s important to slow down, put the phone down, buckle up, and drive sober and drug-free,” says Steve.

“Speed is the single biggest determinant in whether someone walks away or is carried away after a crash. A small change in speed makes a big difference to injury severity, for the driver and everyone else involved. Less speed means less harm.”

Over the five-year period from 2016 to 2020, 23 people have died and 158 people have been seriously injured during Labour Weekend.

“Any death on the road is too many. Police are committed to reducing death and injury on our roads, and we work alongside our road safety partners to do this. But we cannot do it alone, we need everyone’s help to keep our roads safe - road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“If you are planning to drink, don’t drive. Get a mate to be the designated sober driver or ask them to pick you up afterwards or sort out a taxi or ride-share service. If you plan your ride home before you head out, there won’t be any risk of making a bad decision later.

“We will continue to remain visible out on the roads this long weekend and have checkpoints operating throughout the country making sure drivers are not showing signs of fatigue or impairment, as well as checking to make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt.”

Travel between alert level areas is strictly limited to stop the spread of Covid-19. If planning to travel between alert levels police are asking motorists to ensure they first read the information on the Covid-19 website about regional travel.

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