Coordinated by BrakeWaka Kotahi

Our theme for 2021: Speed

Speed is a significant road safety issue. Vehicle speed plays a part in every crash; the faster you're travelling, the longer it takes to stop and the bigger the forces involved in a crash, meaning people are more likely to be killed or seriously injured.

Road Safety Week 2021 (17-23 May) coincides with the UN Global Road Safety Week. The theme of the week is speed, focusing on Streets for Life

The full UN theme is Streets for Life #Love30. Low speed streets save lives and are the heart of communities. 30km/h limits where people and traffic mix make for streets that are healthy, green and liveable, in other words, streets for life. For full details of the UN Global Road Safety Week, visit www.unroadsafetyweek.org.

Everyone has the right to get around in safe and sustainable ways, and in Aotearoa Road Safety Week will focus on how safe and appropriate speeds help to create Streets for Life, from 30km/h limits in town and city centres, to safe speeds for rural roads.

In Aotearoa speeding, or driving too fast for the conditions, is still a major problem. In 2019, 87 people died and 496 people were seriously injured in crashes where speeding or driving too fast for the conditions was a factor. 

Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.

Yet newer vehicles are more powerful than ever before and can reach high speeds quickly. Driving fast is often glamorised and encouraged by movies, TV programmes and adverts. We all live busy lives and there is a temptation to speed up in the hope of saving time, when in fact we could be costing lives.

We can all play our part in raising awareness about the role speed plays in the outcomes of crashes, and how we can all make our streets safer. This year's campaign will focus on:

  • speed is a factor in the outcome of all crashes
  • people are killed and seriously injured on our roads every year in crashes caused by a driver going too fast
  • 30km/h is an appropriate maximum speed around schools and communities where there are pedestrians and cyclists
  • when going past a school bus it’s 20km/h in both directions
  • rural roads are not race tracks
  • going slow = stopping in time
  • where traffic is slow, more people choose to walk and cycle

Register now to be part of Road Safety Week 2021 and get a free electronic action pack. Take part in the Week by promoting our Speed theme or focusing on any other road safety issue that is important to you.

A few facts on why our theme is important:

  • Speeding or travelling too fast for the conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in one in four (25%) road deaths in New Zealand [1].
  • Drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none [2].

Footnotes

[1] Safety annual statistics - speed, Ministry of Transport, 2021
[2] Crash involvement of motor vehicles in relationship to the number and severity of traffic offenses, SWOV, 2013

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