Safety push focuses on driver attention

Last updated 12:00 19/05/2014
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Driver attention will come under scrutiny this week with Manawatu people being urged to tune into safe transport.

There were 416 infringement notices issued or proceedings started against drivers across Manawatu-Whanganui for texting or being on the phone at the wheel last year, according to police figures.

Police acting national manager of roads Inspector Peter McKennie said driving was one of the most risky activities that people undertook and needed their full attention.

"Too often our officers attend horrific crashes because people have been distracted behind the wheel.

"No text message, phone call or conversation which distracts a driver is worth dying for, or risking a lifelong injury."

Road Safety Week, which started today, is a campaign which appeals to drivers to tune in to road safety, turn off their phone and prevent crashes caused by multi-tasking.

A number of schools, childcare centres and communities will be hosting activities aimed at raising the awareness of safe road use.

In the Palmerston North area Footsteps Education in Snelson St teaching children to cross the road safely, using bikes and wearing helmets correctly.

Sanson Playcentre is planning a march through the town centre wearing bright colours and carrying posters promoting road safety.

Tararua Educare will be creating signs and writing letters urging motorists to slow down when driving near the centre and Tiritea School will be focusing on safety in the school car park.

NZTA's road safety director Ernst Zollner said the week was a chance for Kiwis to reflect on how our driving habits affected the community.

"Everyone has the right to be safe on the road and we all need to take responsibility for the wellbeing of the people that we share the road with every day."

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- Manawatu Standard

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