‘Slow down on the roads these holidays’

Motorists are being urged to slow down this festive season. Photo supplied

Police are urging road users to slow down and make appropriate plans this festive season, following a series of serious crashes in Auckland.

The Counties Manukau Police serious crash unit attended six serious injury crashes over the past week.

Police say while the investigations into those crashes are in their very early stages, alcohol, speed and distraction are believed to have been contributing factors.

Senior sergeant Jono Chappell says police want to prevent further harm on the country’s roads and are urging motorists to slow down, plan ahead and focus on where they’re going.

Police will be highly visible on the roads throughout Auckland and there will be a number of alcohol checkpoints in the area this holiday period.

Over the past weekend, more than 7000 vehicles were stopped at alcohol checkpoints throughout Counties Manukau, and 65 drivers were found to have been driving with excess breath alcohol.

“To find 65 drivers on our roads to be over the legal alcohol limits is extremely disappointing,” Chappell says.

“Each of these drivers has put themselves and other road users in danger as a result of their actions.

“Alcohol is a factor in nearly a third of all fatal and serious injury crashes, and these crashes are completely preventable.

“People need to take responsibility for their actions and plan ahead, particularly if they plan on going out drinking and celebrating.”

Chappell says people need to ensure they have a plan to get home if they’re planning on drinking, whether that’s organising a sober driver, a taxi or Uber.

He says people can get a friend to be the sober driver and share that responsibility among their group, so everyone has a turn at taking care of each other and being the driver.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Christmas season, but also be responsible and plan ahead so people can get home safely to their families and loved ones.”

People who suspect someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol should report it to police.