28 Apr, 2023
With Road Safety Week looming in mid-May, Northlanders are being asked to get behind the event to honour our road safety heroes and help lower the road toll.
Thirty-eight people died on Northland roads in 2022 – the highest number in 22 years – with many of those deaths avoidable according to Northland Road Safety Trust (NRST) and Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA).
NRST’s Ashley Johnston is urging locals to become road safety heroes by adopting safer driving habits, driving to the conditions, wearing seatbelts and not driving distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“I want drivers to pay more attention to what is ahead of them on our roads and I would love to see hundreds of locals join us on a walk of the Hatea Loop, so we can talk about just what road safety means and how we can all play a part in making our roads safer though our own actions,” says Johnston.
“Slowing down, being courteous and considerate to road users, making safe and sensible decisions and not being in a rush are really good starting points – along with putting phones away.
“People often drive too fast for the conditions, drive while distracted and fatigued, do not wear seatbelts or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We can all contribute to safety on our roads whether we are driving, walking or riding. Poor decisions can have a massive impact on a lot of people and create heartache for years to come.”
Northland Transportation Alliance’s Nicole Cauty says safety is everyone’s responsibility and we need everyone to do their bit to keep the people we care about safe on Northland roads.
“Anyone can be a road safety hero, whether it is taking one for the team and sober driving or reminding a mate to put their seatbelt on,” says Cauty.
“The RIDS (Restraints, Impairment, Distractions, Speed) message is one I want people to take home. Especially important to me is the restraints reminder, not only for adults but making sure every child is in an appropriate size range restraint.
“It is also okay to speak up when friends and family are not being responsible in the car – particularly for those young males as when we workshopped with them, they admitted they would feel uncomfortable asking a mate to put a seatbelt on. But that is what saves lives.”
Whangarei District Mayor and long-time road safety advocate Vince Cocurullo believes it is important that the Northland community acknowledge Road Safety Week.
“It is an opportunity for us all to celebrate those road safety heroes keeping us safe in Northland, and it is also a good reminder to not drive distracted, drive to the conditions and get home safely,” says Cocurullo.
The theme of Road Safety Week 2023 (May 15-21) is ‘be a road safety hero’ by recognising everyone who helps to make our roads safer and supporting people after a crash, while also explaining how we can all play a part in making journeys safer for everyone.
n More info at roadsafetyweek.org.nz
“Anyone can be a road safety hero, whether it is taking one for the team and sober driving or reminding a mate to put their seatbelt on.”
- Nicole Cauty
From left, Nicole Cauty, Vince Cocurullo, Ashley Johnston. All believe it is important to acknowledge Road Safety Week. PHOTO/SUPPLIED