Julie Anne Genter: #SpeakUp for road safety

Opinion 08/05/2019

By Julie Anne Genter, Green Party MP, Associate Minister for Transport.

I’m writing to you during Road Safety Week which this year took place from 6 - 12 May around the theme 'Leadership for Road Safety: Save Lives, #SpeakUp.’ In 2019, this very important week for New Zealand also coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week. 

We’ve all shared the sorrow of recent road tragedies.

The number of deaths on our roads is simply heart breaking.

The wide impact of deaths and serious injuries throughout our communities reinforces that leadership for road safety isn’t solely the concern of the authorities, it’s up to everyone. 

Whether it’s as parents or children, friends or workmates, we all have a part to play.

It’s really important that we all speak up about road safety.

For instance, last year nearly a quarter of all passenger vehicle deaths involved people not wearing a seat belt. If they had, their chances of surviving a serious crash would have been immensely greater.

So if you’re with someone who’s not buckled up – speak up to them about it – that’s what leadership really means, and it’s what a good friend would do. 

It’s going to take a sustained effort from us all to turn the number of road deaths and injuries around.

I’m personally committed to seeing our roads made safer.

That’s why this Government has prioritised safety by investing a record $1.4 billion over three years to upgrade over 1,500km of our most dangerous roads. Over this same time period we will be implementing safe speed limits on our most dangerous roads. 

We’re working closely with the Transport Agency and local government to continue prioritising the most dangerous roads and intersections. 

Even the most experienced drivers can make a mistake.

By making our roads safer and more forgiving of driver error we can ensure a simple mistake doesn’t turn into a tragedy. 

#Speakup about Road Safety to family, friends or colleagues and stay safe;

  • Remind everyone to wear a seat belt 
  • Don’t let a mate drink and drive 
  • Speak up if the driver is speeding or driving recklessly 
  • Encourage drivers to take a rest if they’re tired or fatigued 
  • Speak up if the driver is using a cellphone or is distracted

Julie Anne Genter MP is Associate Minister for Transport for the Green Party.