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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and NZ Police are urging all Kiwis to ‘step up for safe streets’ as New Zealand marks Road Safety Week 2020.

This year’s Road Safety Week (9-15 November) is aiming to encourage people across the country to call for safer streets in their own communities to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand’s roads.

Road Safety Week which is coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity and sponsored by QBE Insurance and Waka Kotahi NZ.

With results from a recent Brake survey showing that a third of Kiwis feel at risk from vehicles driving too fast on their own streets, Waka Kotahi and Police are urging drivers to slow down, drive safely and be aware of others using the road.

“More than a third of those responding to Brake’s survey said vehicles travel too fast on their streets, and a quarter thought it wasn’t safe to cycle. We’re working with councils to make our streets safer for people to walk and cycle in their own neighbourhoods, but the behaviour of drivers also as big impact on how safe people feel using the roads. Human beings are fallible, and we all make mistakes. But those mistakes shouldn’t cost life or limb, and we can all choose to drive at safe speeds and respect others on the road. This week is a chance to reflect on the little things each of us can do every day to look after each other and prevent needless deaths and injuries on the road,” says Greg Lazzaro, Waka Kotahi General Manager, Safety, Health and Environment.

National Road Policing Manager Gini Welch says road safety is something people need to focus on every week.

“Our Police are out on the roads every day trying to prevent harm but we really need the help of everybody who uses the road. If you’re using the road – whether that be driving, riding, cycling, or as a pedestrian – you have a responsibility to do so with care, and to look out for your fellow road users.

“Your speed is something you can easily control and it is also the one thing that makes the biggest difference to the outcome if someone does make a mistake on the road. Your speed determines your survival. Everybody wants to get where they’re going safely, so let’s make sure we’re all driving in a way that makes that possible. Think safety every single time you’re on a road.”

In 2019, 352 people were killed on NZ roads, including 13 cyclists and 31 pedestrians. Thousands more people are injured each year, and the social cost of crashes is now $4.9 billion a year. As of 8 November, 269 people have been killed, compared to 285 at the same time last year, despite the COVID-19 lockdowns when far less traffic was on the roads.

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

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre

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