Road safety charity Brake is appealing to all road users to keep road safety front of mind this Easter weekend and school holidays, and to give the road their full attention to help keep themselves and others safe.
As many people get set to head away for the long weekend, Brake is reminding drivers to plan their route, check their vehicle and take regular breaks when driving.
Brake says that whilst it's recognised that road users make mistakes, and we need improvements to our transport system to ensure that when mistakes happen they don't result in death or serious injury, we all also have a responsibility to do what we can to keep ourselves and others safe when using roads. Brake is appealing to drivers to Pledge to drive safely every day. By remembering simple, key safety messages, and committing to do what we can to make roads safer, we can all help to prevent tragedies.
Brake's driver advice:
Be prepared. Plan your route to include breaks of at least 15 minutes every two hours on long journeys - use your breaks to see some different places on your route, have a coffee, or let the kids play in a park.
Check your vehicle. 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.
Make your Pledge at www.brake.org.nz/pledge.
Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director said: "This year has been horrific on our roads already. Crashes are devastating for families and communities but are preventable tragedies. We're calling on drivers to do everything possible to protect themselves, their passengers, and other road users not just over the long weekend, but every day. We are urging drivers to be prepared, check your vehicle before setting off, and take regular breaks on your journey. Ensure everyone is belted up, and minimise distractions. Help you and those on the road around you to get to your destinations safely."
Brake is calling on members of the public to play their part and #SpeakUp for road safety by getting involved in Road Safety Week 2019 (6-12 May). The week coincides with the UN Global Road Safety Week and has the same theme, Save Lives #SpeakUp, focusing on leadership for road safety. Brake will be calling on everyone to #SpeakUp about road safety issues that affect their local community. To find out more and register to be part of the Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.