Easter weekend road deaths

Attributable to Superintendent Steve Greally, Director: National Road Policing Centre

New Zealand has seen a tragic Easter weekend on its roads, and Police extends its sympathies to the families and friends of the eight people who died this holiday period.

Any number of deaths is too many, but this is the highest number of deaths for the Easter holiday period in more than a decade which is an unacceptable outcome.

The aftermath of a fatal car crash extends further than just the families involved.

Our thoughts are with our staff and other emergency services, who have to deal with crash scenes and advise family members that their loved one isn’t coming home.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Road Safety Manager Fabian Marsh says the loss of life over the long weekend is a tragedy for everyone affected.

“The loss of these people will be felt terribly by their families and in our communities. Deaths and serious injuries on our roads are not inevitable. Waka Kotahi is working hard to create a safer and more forgiving transport system as part of the Government’s Road to Zero road safety strategy, and we are supporting Police to target unsafe behaviour which puts others at risk. Every New Zealander has a part to play in making our roads safer, through the choices we make and through the actions we take.”

Deaths on the road are preventable and Police reminds everyone to slow down, drive free from the effects of alcohol, drugs and fatigue, wear your seatbelt, and minimise distractions.

Speed is the single biggest determinant in whether someone walks away or is carried away.

A small change in speed makes a big difference to injury severity in a crash – for the driver and everyone else involved.

Less speed means less harm.

Alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in about a third of all fatal crashes.

If you are going to drink, don’t drive.

Organise a sober driver to pick you up, or use public transport, taxi or Uber.

Police will also continue to target drivers using their mobile phones.

If you are driving, then you need to focus on the road to get everybody in the car to your destination safely.

Put the phone down.

There is no text, post or call that is so important to risk your life for.

Police cannot be everywhere all of the time and cannot solve this issue alone. Drivers need to take responsibility for their actions when operating a vehicle on our roads.

We continue to collaborate with our partners in the road safety sector and beyond, but we also need the community’s help.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

/NZ Police Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.