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Police and Council focus on road safety

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Archived News Item. Note that information below may no longer be current or accurate.
Archived: 27 Apr 2018 10:00am

Selwyn District Council and Police are concerned about crashes and fatalities on Selwyn’s roads and are working together to reduce risk for road users.

Councillor Nicole Reid, Chair of the Road Safety Committee, says road crashes impose a massive and unacceptable burden of death, pain and suffering on Selwyn communities. Research shows that every road death affects a huge network of people, not just the victim’s direct family and friends, while Victim Support provides assistance to an average of eight people per crash victim.

“As a district we have been working towards our district vision of ‘zero deaths and serious injuries on Selwyn roads’ for some time, and we are serious about working towards that vision,” she says.

“We support the new Government’s stance on road safety championing Vision Zero which is a proven strategy to reduce the number of road deaths and serious injuries and is used in a growing number of countries and cities around the world. It aims to change how governments, stakeholders and the population approach road safety. A core message is there are no ‘accidents’, but crashes where the cause is preventable.

“The term road toll implies that a cost must be paid to use the roads, but people don’t have to die to use the roads and we shouldn’t accept it as an inevitability.”

The Council’s road safety strategy involves a partnership with NZ Police and other key partners, to reduce crashes and improve road safety. This is done through a long-term, coordinated framework of safety initiatives aimed at educating road users about risks and consequences associated with driving, walking and cycling on the roads, to make better decisions about their behaviour.

In recent months the Council and other agencies have collaborated on campaigns including intersection safety, fatigue, school crossings, drink driving, speed around school buses, and motorcycle safety. Activities coming up include a winter driving campaign, and continuing work with primary schools around active transport.

Inspector Peter Cooper says Police are primarily focusing on seatbelts, alcohol, cell phones and speed as main risk factors to road safety.

“A high proportion of crashes are happening at rural intersections,” says Inspector Cooper. With over 2000 intersections in the district, Selwyn is one of the highest risk districts for intersection crashes in New Zealand. We see both tourists and locals who are familiar with the local roads being killed in these crashes.

“So far in 2018 there has been a significant increase in motorcyclist fatalities, with 16 motorcyclists killed nationally.

“We advise road users to treat every intersection with care. Stop means stop. The emotional toll on our families, the community and the emergency services attending these crashes, has to stop.

“Safety on our roads is everyone’s responsibility and must be taken seriously. Saving lives starts with each of us and the decisions we make behind the wheel.

“The majority of fatal and serious crashes are human error. Leave the alcohol alone, put on your seatbelt, put down your phone, lift your foot off the accelerator, concentrate at the intersection and we can all arrive home safely.”

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