Focus on road safety

by Anonymous Author

Concern over fatal crashes on Selwyn’s roads has led the Selwyn District Council and Police to work together to reduce risk for road users.

Rolleston-based district councillor, Nicole Reid, who is chair of council’s road safety committee, said road crashes impose a massive and unacceptable burden of death, pain and suffering.

“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,” Councillor Reid said.

“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 whose causes are preventable.

“The term road toll infers 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.”

She said council’s road safety strategy involves a partnership with NZ Police and other key partners, to reduce crashes and improve road safety.

Inspector Peter Cooper said police are primarily focussing on seatbelts, alcohol, cell phones and speed as main risk factors to road safety.

“A high proportion of crashes are happening at rural intersections,” Inspector Cooper said.

“With over 2,000 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.

“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,” Inspector Cooper said.