Wellington operation to kick-off summer road safety campaign

Police are reminding drivers to remember the basics of road safety, don’t rush and consider everyone’s safety on the roads this summer.

Police, and partners Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) and the Ministry of Transport, will be out in the Wellington region tomorrow in the lead up to the Christmas and summer holidays as part of Operation Safe Start.

Co-Director Road Safety Partnership Inspector Peter McKennie says the operation draws attention to a nation-wide focus by Police aimed at keeping roads and highways safe over the summer months.

“Police will be maintaining a highly visible presence across the roading network this holiday season, to encourage good driver behaviour.

“But we can’t do this alone – we need everyone to play their part in helping reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads,” says Inspector McKennie.

Operation Safe Start aims to educate drivers about the four main behaviours that contribute to harm on our roads: speeding and driving too fast for the conditions, driving when fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, people not wearing seatbelts or the proper restraints, and drivers being distracted – particularly by mobile phones.

All drivers stopped will be breath tested for the presence of alcohol and officers will also be checking that everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained, and that drivers aren’t showing signs of fatigue.

“These are all really simple things to pay attention to that will help everyone get to their destination safely,” Inspector McKennie says. “Just take a moment to think of the consequences if you don’t follow these basic tips. It’s just not worth the risk.”

Inspector McKennie says Police are predicting major highways will be busier this summer holidays than in previous years due to the absence of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

He advises people to plan ahead for any journeys, allow plenty of time and factor in the possibility of delays due to heavy traffic and potential road works.

While many organisations will be planning end-of-year functions for the first time in three years, it’s important provisions are made so people get home safely without drinking and driving.

“Organise a sober driver to pick you up, or use public transport, taxi or ride-sharing option. Plan how you’re getting home before you head out. And just never, never drink and drive.

“We want everyone to enjoy the festive season but to do it safely.”

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