Get ready for Road Safety Week 2017

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 12, 2017

Road Safety Week started on the 8th May, the annual event highlighting the need for New Zealand to do more to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads. Coinciding with the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week, this year the theme is Save lives #SlowDown.

Employers, especially those with staff who drive for work, are urged to take part to raise awareness of road safety issues.

Road safety charity Brake says it will focus on speed as a key factor in the severity of a crash and determining its outcome, and will call on drivers to slow down around schools and in communities.

On their website, Brake‘s director Caroline Perry said that employers have a key role in getting vital road safety messages out to drivers and families.

“At-work drivers are so often involved in fatal and injury crashes, which cause terrible and preventable suffering, and they cost businesses dearly. However, we know from our experience of working with employers that developing robust policies alongside a safe driving culture can make a huge difference to the safety of at-work drivers, and organisations‘ bottom line. Road Safety Week is the ideal time for organisations to get serious about at-work driver safety, or step up existing work and link it to a national campaign.”

The Automobile Association is also urging motorists to travel at the right speed for the right conditions. AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon says when people think about crashes involving speed they normally picture someone driving dangerously fast and breaking the speed limit, but there are many crashes where a driver was within the limit but going too fast for the conditions.

“The speed limit on a road is the fastest speed you should travel on it in good conditions, so sometimes people need to go slower than that to be safe,” he says.

Wet roads and poor visibility are times when slowing down makes sense, but Noon says there are other conditions that should also be taken into account.

“Different roads have different risks. Driving on a motorway with a median barrier has much less risk than driving on an undivided rural road with a ditch running alongside, it yet they both may have a 100km/h limit.”

Noon says it also makes sense for motorists to slow down near schools at the start and end of the school day.

“It‘s really just about drivers using common sense and adjusting their speed to fit with what is happening on the road around them.”