AA hopes for first fatality free Labour weekend

21 October 2021

AA hopes for first fatality free Labour weekend

 The AA does not want to see any repeat of the tragic last Labour weekend on the roads this year.

Eight people died in road crashes on Labour weekend in 2020, which was the most people killed over the long weekend in a decade.

While a substantial number of people won’t be able to make a road trip due to lockdowns in the north of the country, there will be plenty of people heading away elsewhere and so far this year we are sadly on track for more road deaths than 2020.

“The AA’s key message for Labour weekend is for everyone to drive to the conditions and stick within the speed limit,” says AA road safety spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“New Zealand has never yet had a Labour weekend without at least one death on the roads but hopefully this can be the year.

“It’s likely to be an unusual Labour weekend with heavy holiday traffic as usual in certain places and much lighter traffic in others due to lockdown restrictions but watching your speed is vital either way.

“If you are in a line of constant traffic there is really no point in trying to go faster than the vehicles around you and passing others. Just go with the flow.

“And if you are on empty roads it’s really important to not let your speed creep up. Not only does it increase your chance of a crash or getting a ticket, it will also often burn more fuel to go the same distance at higher speeds.”

As the weather warms-up there are more roadwork sites starting to appear around the country as well, and drivers need to stick to the lower limits when going through them.

“Even if roadworkers aren’t present the lower speed limits are there for a reason. There are often loose stones on the surface and if you are travelling faster you have much more risk of flicking a stone up and into the windscreen of someone coming the other way.

“No one wants to spend their Labour weekend trying to get a replacement windscreen.”

The AA’s final piece of advice is for motorists to keep an eye out for the best fuel prices if they are travelling.

“New Zealand’s fuel prices are at record highs but there can still be plenty of price variation between different brands and areas, so make the most of any good deals you see,” says Dylan.

“And of course make sure you take your masks and some spares with you if you are heading away and keep scanning in wherever you visit.”

Travel between alert level areas is strictly limited to stop the spread of the Covid virus so people should check their travel plans on the COVID-19 website before making any trips.

There is also a new way for people to spread the road safety message via social media thanks to Students Against Dangerous Driving.

With GIFs and stickers a major way people communicate online, one of the SADD student leaders from Albany Senior High School has created a portfolio of road safety stickers people can use on social media with a specific sticker for this Labour weekend.

How people can use the stickers on Instagram:

For more information contact:

Dylan Thomsen
Road safety spokesperson
New Zealand Automobile Association
M. 027 703 9935
E. dthomsen@aa.co.nz

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