Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on New Zealand drivers to give the road their full attention and not to take risks if heading away over the holiday period.
With 311 people killed already this year, and many people heading away for Christmas and the school holidays, Brake is urging drivers to do everything they can to keep themselves and other road users safe by remembering the key road safety messages of Brake’s Pledge.
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 New Zealand director said: "There are already 311 families who this year have been told the devastating news that a loved one has been killed on our roads. This time of year is particularly risky because lots of us drive long distances with our families, risking fatigue, distractions and speed in order to get to our destination. But the result can be that you don't get there at all. Slow down, keep your attention on the road and take regular breaks. We’re also reminding families to take particular care to protect children in driveways by ensuring children are kept well away from vehicles. The holiday season can mean lots of visitors to your home and children need to be protected."