Stay home, slow down, save lives
Police are saying that while the country is at alert level 4, people should not be on the roads unless they are accessing essential services or delivering essential services.
“Right now we all need to look out for each other and do what we each can to keep ourselves and others safe,” says Acting Superintendent Gini Welch, national manager for road policing.
Police will be highly visible in the community, and Police patrols will continue throughout the country to help enforce the Alert Level 4 restrictions.
“This is not just about you, it’s about all the people around you.
“If you have to drive or ride to get groceries or medicine, or to take these items to another person, please don’t speed because there are fewer vehicles on the road.”
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency senior manager road safety Fabian Marsh says there are also many people cycling and walking to essential services and for exercise, and he urged drivers to stay alert and take care around cyclists and pedestrians.
“We know that people are maintaining physical distances at the moment when they’re out walking and cycling, and that is what we want to see.
However, pedestrians and cyclists are also much more vulnerable to injury than drivers in a crash.
If you’re driving a vehicle it’s crucial to stay alert, slow down and give plenty of room when passing people on bikes or on foot.”
Gini says speed has the biggest impact on the outcome of a crash; whether you walk away or are carried away.
“It’s also a contributing factor in a third of all deaths on the road. Lives have still been lost on the road during Alert Level 4.
“Unfortunately we are still seeing people speeding, taking unnecessary risks.”
She says some motorists are taking this as an opportunity to speed.
“There are lots of pedestrians and cyclists moving across our network at the moment, and this is unlikely to materially change at an alternative alert level – so please, be mindful of those around you, and slow down.
“Right now our emergency departments, our medical staff, and our first responders all need to be able to focus on COVID-19, not on people who risked their lives by driving recklessly.
“Drive or ride to the conditions and within speed limit, wear your seatbelt, put your phone away, and only drive sober and alert”
ACC injury prevention team leader for road Dave Keilty echoes this saying don’t take unnecessary risks.
“Unless you are an essential worker stay off the roads as much as possible. If you do choose to drive or ride stay local.”