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Be speed safe this summer holiday in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region

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The NZ Transport Agency is supporting the Police and ACC safe summer speed enforcement campaign in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region and Transport Agency Regional Director Harry Wilson is calling on drivers in the region to do their part in keeping themselves and their families’ safe this holiday season.

“Our region has one of the worst crash records nationally, and speed is a big part of the problem. Last year 17 people lost their life on our highway roads in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty – 10 in December and 7 in January - that’s 17 families affected by a tragic road crash, we don’t want anyone or their families to experience such tragedy and so we are asking drivers to do their part by sticking to the speed limit this summer holiday period,” says Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson said speed was a contributing factor in all 17 road fatalities.

“The crash figures speak for themselves, and excess speed is a factor in far too many deaths and injuries on our roads. Whatever the cause of a crash, the speed at impact determines how badly people are injured. There should be no tolerance for excess speeding when we know that the outcome can be tragic for those involved.”

In the last five years (2008-2012) Mr Wilson says 90 people have been killed on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads and 335 seriously injured during the December to January summer holiday period.

“2008 and 2010 both had the highest number of fatalities on our roads with 20 people killed in both those years during the December-January summer holiday period.”

In the last five years speed was a significant contributing factor in crashes during the summer holiday period with 31 percent (362 crashes out of a total of 1,141 crashes) attributed to drivers travelling too fast for the conditions while driving in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region.

“One of the saddest aspects of my job is seeing reports of deaths on our roads but these reports don’t tell you the huge impact on families and friends who have lost their loved ones.”

“My hope is that motorists support this campaign by making an effort to keep to the speed limit and where required adjust their speed to suit the road environment.  Drivers should aim to get themselves and their family to their desired destination safely, says Mr Wilson.”

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