United Nations Road Safety Week campaign appeals to NZ drivers to save kids’ lives

Communities across New Zealand will be marching for kids’ safety as part of UN Global Road Safety Week 2015 (4-10 May), to help #SaveKidsLives and prevent children and young people being killed and injured on NZ roads.

Every year more than 19 children are killed and 270 are hospitalised after a road crash in New Zealand, and around the world more than 500 children are killed every day as a result of road traffic crashes [1].

To mark Road Safety Week, Brake, the road safety charity, Safekids Aotearoa, NZ Police, NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and other road safety agencies are calling on everyone to #SaveKidsLives. Road Safety Week is kindly sponsored by QBE Insurance.

The Week will be officially launched by Giant Walks organised by Brake, the road safety charity and kids at schools and kindergartens across New Zealand, with children holding banners reminding drivers to look out for kids and slow down. (See police speeding enforcement figures and speed facts below.)

At a national launch on Monday 4 May in Auckland, at one of the Giant Walk locations, Brake and Safekids Aotearoa will be inviting organisations and MPs to sign the UN Declaration on Child Road Safety. Launches are also taking place in Wellington, Hastings and Christchurch. (See details of the national launch below and for all other launch details contact Brake.)

During the Week, Brake will also be demonstrating the devastating consequences of crashes involving children and young people through the launch of Living Memories, a ground-breaking campaign that tells the stories of young lives cut short by preventable road crashes. The project imagines what they would look like today if they had lived. Living Memories is at www.livingmemories.org.nz (website goes live Sunday 3 May).

Across New Zealand more than 700 schools, kindergartens, companies and communities are getting involved in the week by running a Giant Walk or other awareness-raising events to get the message across about the horror of road crashes and the part we can all play in making communities safer.

This is the fourth Road Safety Week New Zealand and the third UN Global Road Safety Week. Figures show that in New Zealand:

  • Every month almost a classroom of children (23) are hospitalised with serious injuries [2].
  • 72 children aged 0-14 on foot and bicycle were killed or hospitalised from crashes in 2013 [3].
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of cyclists killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes are aged 10-19 years old [4].

Police enforcement figures also show the number of speeding offences near schools:

  • In 2014, there were over 7,500 officer issued speed notices, and almost 130,000 speed camera notices for speed offences near schools. They accounted for 13% of all speed notices [5]
  • In 2013, speeding was a contributing factor in 74 fatal crashes and 305 serious injury crashes, resulting in 83 deaths and 421 serious injuries [6]
  • The total social cost of crashes involving drivers speeding in 2013 was about $678 million, approximately 22% of the social cost for all injury crashes that year [6]

Members of the public can show their support for Road Safety Week by:

Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director, said: "When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific - people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of inattention, impatience or a bad decision. It's particularly devastating when a child or young person is killed, their future is lost, and their family is left to pick up the pieces. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. And there are wider consequences if we don't have roads that are safe for kids - families afraid to let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles. That's why, instead of making our streets risky places, we're asking all road users to look out for and protect children and young people - that means drivers slowing down outside schools and in communities, and keeping their full attention on driving when at the wheel."

New Zealand's road safety strategy, Safer Journeys, includes safe speeds as one of the four pillars, and Brake is appealing to drivers to slow down outside schools and in communities to help protect children and young people.

Ann Weaver, Director, Safekids Aotearoa says: "It's a global epidemic, and we ask everyone - children, parents, drivers, private industries, policy makers and decision makers to #SaveKidsLives this Road Safety Week. We can do this by signing the UN Declaration for Child Road Safety and taking action.

"While no single measure adequately addresses the vast range of risks to children on the road, the UN declaration highlights ten strategies that are best known - especially when implemented as a package - to keep children safe on the road. That means: controlling speed; stopping drinking and driving; using helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists; restraining children in vehicles; improving children's ability to see and be seen; enhancing road infrastructure; adapting vehicle design; implementing graduated driver licensing; providing appropriate care for injured children; and supervising children around roads."

Assistant Commissioner of Roads Policing, Dave Cliff, NZ Police says: "Children can be unpredictable, so motorists need to be well prepared to stop safely in and around school zones. This means slowing down and giving yourself enough time and space to stop suddenly if needed. That's why Police this week will be paying particular attention to vehicle speeds and driver behaviour around schools, including the correct use of child restraints."

NZTA's road safety director Ernst Zollner says: "Road Safety Week is a chance for Kiwis to reflect on how the way we drive affects everyone in the community, including our children. Everyone has the right to be safe on the road and we all need to take responsibility for the wellbeing of the people that we share the road with every day."

All Black and Auckland Transport’s public transport Ambassador, Jerome Kaino is also supporting the Week. He says: "Its Road Safety Week and as a father of two, I want to help Auckland Transport spread key messages on how toLook Out For Kidsto our whole community so we can all be safe on the road. To parents, please SLOW DOWN around school zones; you never know what might happen. And to all kids, remember the key rules of STOP, LOOK and LISTEN to cross the road safely. Check out other important safety messages at https://at.govt.nz/roadsafetyweek

Filming, photo and interview opportunities

Four Brake Giant Walks will kick off the campaign on Monday 4 May in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hastings. Another 35 Giant Walks are being held across the country during Road Safety Week.

Details of the national launch in Auckland are below. For details of all other launches and Giant Walks, contact Brake on the details given below.

National launch

Road Safety Week is being launched nationally at a Brake Giant Walk at Rowandale School in Manurewa, Auckland. The week will be launched by Brake, Safekids Aotearoa, Auckland Transport, the emergency services, ACC and other organisations.

TIME: 8.15am, Monday 4 May 2015

LOCATION: Rowandale School, Rowandale Avenue, Manurewa, Auckland. Meet at Rowandale Reserve at 8.15am on Rowandale Avenue to film/photograph the walk. Meet at school at 8.45am to film/photograph the signing of the UN Declaration.

FILMING/PHOTOS: Around 100 students from the school will be taking part in a Giant Walk, calling on drivers to slow down and help keep kids safe in their community, and promoting walking to school. Students will present the UN Declaration for Child Road Safety to MPs at the school for signing. The Declaration will be signed during school assembly and the students will also learn about road safety from Max the Pukeko.

INTERVIEWS: Brake's NZ director Caroline Perry; Safekids Aotearoa Director, Ann Weaver; NZ Police road policing manager, Counties Manukau, Inspector Alison Brand; Green Party spokesperson for cycling and transport Julie-Ann Genter MP; Labour Party spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern MP; St John spokesperson Robbie Walker; Jordan Priestley, Travelwise lead teacher at Rowandale School; students from Rowandale School.

Others attending the launch include ACC, Auckland Transport and NZ Fire Service.

Case studies

A number of the bereaved families involved in the Living Memories campaign are available for interview:

  • Sharlene and Malcolm Barnett, from Taupo, whose daughter Krystal was killed at the age of 18 in a crash in Upper Hutt.
  • Ian and Karen Kingsbury, whose son Samuel was killed at the age of 7 in a crash in Gore.
  • Robin Milne, whose daughter Luci was killed at the age of 14 in a crash in Tauranga.

Other families affected by road crashes around the country are supporting Road Safety Week and are also available for interviews.

To arrange interviews with any of our bereaved and injured volunteers, please contact Brake on the details below.

Facts on speed

Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a regular basis: you're operating a potentially dangerous machine in an unpredictable, public environment so it requires full concentration at all times.

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties. It is estimated that for every 1mph (2km/h) reduction in average speeds, crash rates fall by an average of 5% [7]. Driver speed was a factor in 29% of fatal crashes and 19% of serious injury crashes in New Zealand from 2011-2013 [8].

See Brake's stopping distances illustration.

Key advice to help #savekidslives

For drivers

  • Slow down in school zones and communities at all times.
  • Passing school buses: either way its 20km/h.
  • Come to a complete stop at intersections and double check for kids.
  • Slow down and double check for kids at pedestrian crossings, particularly in school zones.

For parents

  • Keep children in child restraints until they're 148cm to offer the best protection in a vehicle.
  • Ensure children wear helmets when cycling, scootering and skateboarding.
  • Teach children to stop, look and listen and look for vehicles approaching or turning.
  • Set a good example for your children, whether you're walking, cycling or driving.

Other supporter quotes

ACC said: "ACC supports Brake's Road Safety Week 2015. Road crashes can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families, while injuries and deaths on our roads also have a heavy financial cost to New Zealand. ACC doesn't want you to become a road injury statistic. We hope that by raising awareness and encouraging safe road use, we'll see more people enjoying the journey and arriving at their destination safe and sound."

Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds says: "NZ School Speeds is in full support of the Brake Road Safety Week message to Look out for kids. To help make roads safer for children we would urge our Government to consistently slow speeds within school zones to force a change in culture of how people drive around vulnerable children."

Cycling Advocates' Network spokesman Patrick Morgan said: "Kids love to ride bikes. We can all play our part in keeping them safe, by staying focused while driving. That means keeping speeds under control, leaving the phone switched off, and taking extra care at intersections."

Living Streets Aotearoa president Andy Smith said: "Living Streets Aotearoa is also 'Looking out for kids" by campaigning for lower speeds. We should be driving at 30km/h in residential streets. At that speed you are more likely to spot children, and if there is a crash, slower speeds help us survive.

Sponsor quote

Val Graham, marketing & communications manager at QBE says: "At QBE we firmly believe that we have a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen in the communities in which we operate. This is one of the reasons that QBE Insurance in New Zealand is now in its fourth year of support for Brake and Road Safety Week. QBE see the week as a great way to stimulate commitment - both personal and corporate - to road safety, and we are very pleased to continue with this community initiative."

To find out more or take part in Road Safety Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.

To find out more about Living Memories, visit www.livingmemories.org.nz.

For media queries, or to arrange interviews with Brake, volunteers or any supporters, contact Caroline Perry on 021 407 953 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..';document.getElementById('cloakf22c44d39b11c60f1add2f906c8707da').innerHTML += ''+addy_textf22c44d39b11c60f1add2f906c8707da+'<\/a>';

Notes for editors:

Brake
Brake is an international road safety charity. Its New Zealand division promotes road safety and campaigns against the carnage on New Zealand roads. It is also fundraising to improve support for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. To support Brake, go to
www.brake.org.nz. Support books for children and adults bereaved in road crashes are available for free to families by contacting Brake on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 021 407 953.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road Safety Week is an annual nationwide event coordinated by Brake. It takes place 4-10 May 2015. The theme of the week is look out for kids. Communities, educators and companies are encouraged to take part. Read more at www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.

Brake also provides support resources for people bereaved in crashes. A book for children, called Someone has died in a road crash, and one for adults on coping with grief, are available for free from Brake. These can be ordered by calling 021 407 953 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

QBE

QBE Insurance Group is Australasia's largest international general insurance and reinsurance group, and one of the top 20 global insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE has been in New Zealand for over 125 years and is a leading business insurer offering a comprehensive range of quality products to cover businesses of all sizes.

Child injury statistics

Child injury statistics in this media release are based on the latest and official figures of the Ministry of Health's national mortality collection (deaths) and national minimum dataset (hospital admissions):

  • Hospitalisation (2009-2013), released every two years
  • Deaths (2007-2011), released every four years.

For local figures, please refer to the table 'Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Child Injuries by DHB Region' and the end of this media release.

End notes:
[1] Data from Safekids Aotearoa. Taken from National Mortality Collection (deaths), 2007-2011, and National Minimum Dataset (hospital admissions), 2009-2013, Ministry of Health.
[2] Data from Safekids Aotearoa. Taken from National Mortality Collection (deaths), 2007-2011, and National Minimum Dataset (hospital admissions), 2009-2013, Ministry of Health.
[3] Ministry of Transport statistics, road crashes 2013.
[4] Cyclists: crash fact sheet (2009-2013 crashes), 2014, Ministry of Transport.
[5] NZ Police figures, 2014. Total number of officer issued speed notices near schools: 7,662. Total number of speed camera speed notices near schools: 129,623.
[6] Speed: crash fact sheet, 2014, Ministry of Transport.
[7] Speed, Speed Limits and Accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 1994
[8] Speed: crash fact sheet, 2014, Ministry of Transport.

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