November 24, 2015 at 9:24 am #10505EddiebKeymaster
- Town/City: Tauranga
- Bike: BMW R100GS
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Police will again be enforcing a reduced 4km/h speed threshold for all of December and January, with a highly visible presence on the nation’s roads as part of a targeted road safety campaign.
Every driver stopped can also expect to be breath tested.
Police say focus of the summer campaign is to ensure safer speeds, given that speed not only influences the likelihood of a crash, but also the injury severity and survivability at the time of impact.
Targeting impaired driving will also continue to be a strong focus.
“Police want all families to have a great summer that is memorable for the good times, not a summer ruined by the grief of losing a family member to a fatal crash,” said national road policing manager Superintendent Stephen Greally.
“It’s the loved ones that are left behind that have to carry the pain and devastation a fatal crash causes.
“Police and emergency response staff understand first-hand the grief and trauma that is caused by road crashes.”
Mr Greally said for police, seeing the carnage at the roadside is traumatic enough, but the worst part is when officers have to knock on the door of a family and tell them a loved one has been killed or seriously injured.
He said while the long-term road toll trend was tracking downwards, police and partner agencies are concerned at the current rate of road deaths, which is tracking 22 higher than at the same time last year.
“Sadly, this year’s annual road toll is higher than last year.
“It’s important to remember each and every number in the road toll represents a lost life – a parent, child, brother, sister or friend who will be greatly missed.” said Mr Greally.
Similar to the previous two summer holiday periods police will be enforcing the reduced 4km/h speed threshold from 1 December 2015 to 31 January 2016.
This means anyone caught exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 4km/h should expect to be ticketed.
“The reality is that drivers have a simple choice: check your speed, keep to the safe posted speed limit, and avoid a ticket – or worse – a potentially life-altering crash,” Mr Greally said.
“Aside from the fact police does not receive a cent in fines, or that it actually costs us money to issue notices, we’d be delighted to never issue another one, as it would show that everyone was driving safely and responsibly, and the trauma on our roads would reduce overnight.”
The previous two summers marked the two lowest ever recorded number of deaths for a December/January period since records began.
From 1 December 2014 to 31 January 2015 there were 50 road deaths, compared to 42 road deaths the previous year.
By comparison, the worst December-January road toll recorded in the last 25 years was 124 deaths in 1990.
This summer drivers will see billboards around the country asking them to “check your speed”.
The majority of the rural billboard sites have been selected according to their proximity to crashes between 2010 and 2014, where ‘too fast for the conditions’ was a crash contributor.
Selection was made using police and road safety sector data.
The road safety campaign is backed strongly by Safer Journeys partners ACC, NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport.
“All those involved in road safety support the police efforts to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” said Martin Matthews, chairman of the National Road Safety Committee.
“We all want our friends and families to be safe when they are travelling on the roads over summer.”
Mr Greally said an increased police presence on the roads means everyone should expect to be stopped and breath-tested anywhere, any time.
However, police could not do it alone.
“Families, friends and wh?nau need to step up and play their part. Police will also focus on drivers who impede the flow of traffic, and will issue notices where appropriate,” Mr Greally warned.
“We remind those drivers to pull over where safe to allow traffic to pass, as what we want to avoid is other drivers becoming frustrated then taking risks that put themselves and other road users at risk.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Nobody wants to share the road with someone who is not paying attention, speeding or who has been drinking.
“So please look after each other and make smart decisions on the road this summer.”
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