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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

As the warmer weather settles in and the holiday season approaches, Southern District Police are ramping up road safety activities to keep everyone on our roads safe.

Unfortunately, too many drivers are putting road-users at risk by driving unsafely as reported across Otago Coastal, Central Otago and Southland areas.

Southern District Police are putting in a lot of hard work and planning to ensure these drivers are held to account.

As a Road to Zero strategy partner, we are committed to reducing death and injury on our roads.

We work alongside our road safety partners Waka Kotahi and the Ministry of Transport and other road safety groups to keep you safe on and around our roads.

“Our officers target times and locations we know are high risk and undertake prevention and enforcement activities accordingly,” District Road Policing Manager Senior Sergeant Gregory Ballantyne says.

“These include speed enforcement, breath alcohol testing, and operations around people using cell phones while driving as well as checking that everyone is wearing a seatbelt.

“The open roads are a constant focus for speed enforcement, and this weekend was no different, starting on Friday after a motorbike was clocked travelling 132kmh on one of the Southern highways, near Athol,” Senior Sergeant Ballantyne says.

A small change in speed makes a big difference to whether you walk away or are carried away from a crash.

Carelessness, speed, and impairment played a part in a number of crashes Police attended over the weekend, and a number of drivers were apprehended as a result. 

On Saturday Police received two separate reports of vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road.

Fortunately, staff were able to stop both vehicles safely and avoid further risk to both drivers and other road-users.

Alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in about a third of all fatal crashes, and almost a third of people who die on our roads aren’t wearing a seatbelt.

“An increase in socialising at this time of the year is natural, but drinking and driving simply cannot be mixed – if you’re going to drink, plan your ride home before heading out so that you are not driving, says Senior Sergeant Ballantyne.

“We all know the devastation a road crash causes, not only to our loved ones, but also the attending emergency services and communities.

“We’ve lost around 275 people on our roads already this year.

“That’s 275 families struggling with the tragedy of losing a loved one.

“As Police officers we never lose sight of the real human loss and grieving behind every death on the road.

“It’s unacceptable and we will be doing everything we can to prevent further deaths from occurring.

“We want to ensure everyone gets to their holiday destinations and home again safely.

“You can expect our officers to be out in force anytime, anywhere to deter unsafe driving behaviour.

“But, Police can’t do this alone. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, we all have a role to play in keeping our roads safe.

“Don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted, which means put your phone away, don’t speed, and always wear your seatbelt.”


Issued by Police Media Centre