18 Dec, 2022
Northland Road Policing and Northland Rescue Helicopter are pleading with Northland motorists to drastically change their driving habits.
With the Northland road toll at 35 on December 15 – eight higher than 2021 – and more than 28 other road related injuries from those crashes, Senior Sergeant Haydn Korach says driver behaviour needs to change urgently.
“The trauma our staff are seeing on Northland roads as a result of vehicle crashes is completely unnecessary and the same applies to our friends at Northland Rescue Helicopter and the other emergency services in our community,” says Mr Korach.
“We say it time and time again that people just need to slow down. RIDS – Restraints, Impairment, Distraction and Speed – are too frequently associated with crashes in Northland. Then there is the issue of people being patient and tolerant on our roads, especially over the summer holiday period when there is an influx of holiday makers and Northlanders returning home for a well-earned break.
“With a big increase in road users there will always be delays but there is no rush to get to your end destination. We want people to arrive at their destinations safely. We don’t want a loss of life or injury through impatience, inattention, distraction, impairment, not wearing seatbelts, speeding, or dangerous passing manoeuvres.
“None of us want to be picking up the pieces at a serious or fatal crash because those incidents scar families for a lifetime. Every time there is a needless crash on our roads, emergency services in Northland cannot attend to other incidents to help people, leaving more people vulnerable,” says Mr Korach.
His plea is echoed by Northland Rescue Helicopter Paramedics and Pilots.
Critical Care Paramedic Paul Davis and long-time Pilot Steve Couchman say attending road accidents is immensely traumatic for everyone involved.
“We see the trauma first hand, and it is sad and upsetting. We are all part of the community and don’t want to see harm to our children, family, friends, or work colleagues.
“What we would like to see this summer is people taking far more caution on our roads and not putting themselves or others in danger,” the pair say.
Northland Rescue Helicopters attend around 1200 missions annually, and since the formation of the service in 1988, they have transported around 25,000 people. The summer holiday period is usually the busiest, with sometimes up to nine flights per day.
From left, Critical Care Paramedic Josh Raravula, Senior Sergeant Stephanie Hudson, Senior Sergeant Haydn Korach, Captain Susan Dinkelacker. PHOTO/SUPPLIED