Make this Easter safe and happy on roads says charity

Road safety charity Brake is appealing to all road users to keep road safety front of mind if travelling this Easter weekend, and to commit to giving the road their full attention to keep themselves and others safe.

As Easter coincides with the start of the school holidays, many people will be heading away for the long weekend or longer. Brake is urging drivers to check their vehicles before setting off and remember simple, key safety messages to help prevent tragedy.

Brake's advice for checking your vehicle:

Be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. Before setting off do a walk round check of your vehicle:

  • Check your tyres have a tread depth of at least 3mm. Any less than that is particularly dangerous in wet weather. Also check tyre pressure and look for any cracks or bulges that may indicate a problem with the tyre.
  • Check your lights are clean and are working.
  • Check oil and water levels, and that other fluids such as power steering, windscreen washer and brake fluid, are well above minimum levels before setting off on a long journey.
  • Check wiper blades are in full working order and are clearing the windscreen.

Follow Brake's key road safety messages and Pledge to drive safely:

Slow: Drive within speed limits, drive at 30km/h or lower in communities, and slow down on rural roads too. Avoid overtaking unless you're sure it's safe.
Sober: If driving, don't drink any alcohol, or take any illegal drugs or medication that could affect driving.
Sharp: Drive alert - not tired, ill or stressed. Get a good night's sleep before driving and take breaks every two hours. Have an eye test at least every two years and wear glasses or contact lenses if needed.
Silent: Phone off or on message service. Minimise other distractions such as sat nav/GPS and tuning the radio as much as possible.
Secure: Always belt up and insist that everyone else in the vehicle does the same and adjusts head restraints. If travelling with children, ensure you have correctly fitted, appropriate child restraints. Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and serviced.
Sustainable: Only drive when you have to.

Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director said: Every year lives are torn apart by crashes. We're calling on drivers to do everything possible to prevent tragedies over the long weekend and school holidays. We are urging drivers to be prepared, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and you check it before setting off. Follow our key road safety messages to protect yourself and others, and avoid situations that put lives at risk.

Brake is calling on members of the public to play their part in making roads safer by getting involved in Road Safety Week 2015 (4-10 May). The theme for the Week is look out for kids focusing on protecting some of our most vulnerable road users, children. To find out more and register to be part of the Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.

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