AA Easter Safety Message

(PR.co.nz) The number of people dying on our roads has shown no improvement in the first three months of the year and it is horrific how many deaths could have been easily prevented, says the AA.

As we head into Easter weekend, more than 100 New Zealanders have already died from road crashes in 2017. It continues a sad and frustrating trend in recent years where our road toll has stopped falling.

“One of the biggest concerns that the AA has right now is the number of people dying in crashes who are not wearing a seatbelt,” says AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon.

“22 of the people who died in the first three months of this year were not buckled up.

“In just two-seconds we could dramatically improve our road toll if every single driver and passenger wore their seatbelt every time they got into a vehicle.

“It’s the most basic road safety message and it is a major concern that the number of deaths where people aren’t buckled up has nearly doubled in the last two years.”

The AA is also disappointed that the first three months of this year have seen an increase in the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed in crashes and, with the weather forecast looking wet for much of the country this Easter, the AA is urging drivers to focus on the safety basics.

Weather warning

As Cyclone Cook hits the country the AA is advising every driver to think very carefully before heading out on the roads.

“If you are in an area being hit by strong winds and heavy rain or flooding then avoid driving unless you absolutely have to,” says Mike.

“If you have to travel then check www.aa.co.nz/travel/roadwatch for road conditions before you go.

“Heavy rain will likely mean flooding and poor visibility in some areas so it is critical drivers adjust to those conditions. Slow down, increase your following distance and be extremely cautious about driving through any roads with surface flooding. The risk with flooded roads is that water can be deeper than it looks.

“Even with the forecast not looking great there may still be lots of traffic on the roads at the start and end of the long weekend which can lead to frustration and people taking silly risks. Don’t take any chances in these conditions.”

4 AA Easter tips for drivers:

– Seatbelts for everyone, every time
– Always be mindful of people walking or riding
– Increase your following distance and slow down if it’s wet
– Go with the flow in heavy traffic and don’t try any risky overtaking manoeuvres

Media Release 13 April 2017.