Last year 320 people were killed on NZ roads, an eight per cent increase on the previous year. Yet all of these deaths are preventable, and this Road Safety Week Brake, the road safety charity is calling on drivers to be a #roadsafetyhero by committing to remember simple messages to help keep themselves and others safe.
Brake coordinates Road Safety Week NZ every year. This year it is sponsored by QBE Insurance and it calls on everyone to be a #roadsafetyhero, showing that there are simple things we can all do to help make our roads safer. The Week takes place 16-22 May. You can find out more on Road Safety Week and sign up for a free e-action pack by going to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.
Brake’s key messages will focus on the following topics, in line with the Brake Pledge:
- Speed – keeping within speed limits, slowing down further around schools and homes and obeying the 20km/h school bus rule.
- Drink and drug driving – alcohol and drugs impair driving, even small amounts slow reaction times and affect hazard perception.
- Distractions – mobile phones and other distractions such as GPS and eating and drinking at the wheel.
- Seatbelts and child restraints – wearing a seatbelt at all times and keeping children in child restraints until they are 148cm tall.
- Fatigue – being alert at the wheel and the importance of getting enough sleep and taking regular breaks on long journeys.
- Sustainability – leaving the car at home when you can and walking, cycling or taking public transport instead.
Who gets involved in Road Safety Week?
Companies, schools, communities and individuals get involved in Road Safety Week from across New Zealand. Last year over 800 organisations took part in the week and this year Brake is aiming for 1,000.
Encouraging companies to get on board
Whether you run your own company or feel you could encourage the company you work at to get involved, there are many ways to take part. Companies should involve all employees, not just those who drive for work. Employees who commute to and from work can also benefit from road safety messages and support from their employer.
Ideas for companies include:
- an internal comms campaign identifying road safety heroes within your company and why they are heroes, or a children’s colouring competition asking them to draw what they think a road safety hero does;
- hold a road safety day at your offices with free basic safety checks for employees’ personal vehicles by a local mechanic and information on vehicle maintenance;
- set up a road safety display in your foyer or staff room using posters from Brake’s Road Safety Week action pack;
- include a road safety-themed message from the CEO in your staff bulletin.