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Published: 2011-06-30 00:00:00

A road safety campaign has been launched in the Waikato to cut the number of fatal crashes involving business fleet vehicles.

The ‘Bloody Important’ campaign has been developed to help Waikato employers and employees recognise risky driving behaviour and take action to improve their safety.

The campaign covers issues such as fatigue, driver distraction, trip planning, speed, vehicle maintenance and purchasing.

The campaign kicked off yesterday (Wednesday, 29 June) with a company fleet manager’s day held at Karapiro’s Don Rowland’s Centre. Speakers covered a range of topics aimed at helping organisations with large numbers of staff on the road reduce their risk of a crash.

About 30 organisations were represented at the open day, with four Waikato car dealers showcasing their five-star rated vehicles during the lunch break.

Waikato Regional Council road safety coordinator Monique Haines said crashes are the biggest killer of people at work, with an average of 31 deaths recorded annually in New Zealand.

“That accounts for 29 per cent of all work-related fatalities,” Ms Haines said.

“People who drive fleet vehicles as part of their job are clocking up more kilometres than other motorists, and surveys show ‘at work’ drivers are 30-40 per cent more likely to be involved in a crash,” Ms Haines said.

“What’s most alarming is that they are also more likely to take life-threatening risks, such as speeding or talking on their mobile phone while driving.

“Our campaign aims to educate employers on their responsibilities for the on-road health and safety of their employees, and supports the work of other agencies such as the Department of Labour, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and New Zealand Police,” she said.

The campaign’s two key audiences are fleet managers of large organisations and owner-operators who run vehicles but may not be completely aware of the risks and their responsibilities.

A full set of supporting resources is available on the ‘reduce the risk’ website, including vehicle safety ratings and sample driver policies.

The campaign is the work of the Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group, led by Waikato Regional Council in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders including the NZTA, NZ Police, ACC and councils.

For more information on the campaign visit