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Published: 2013-12-13 00:00:00

Motorists are being urged to ‘create breathing space’ when driving this summer in a new road safety campaign to reduce the risk of crashes in the Waikato.

“Driving on Waikato roads can be particularly challenging, so in this new campaign rolling out across the region this next week we’re encouraging motorists to create breathing space,” said Waikato Regional Council’s road safety coordinator, Monique Haines. 

“One of the best ways to avoid a crash with other road users is to give each other a bit more space,” Mrs Haines said. 

“Driving is a complex task and there are lots of potential hazards we have to recognise and respond to. If we all give each other the space to think and react we can avoid potentially lethal situations. It’s easy to do and it’s highly effective.

“We call it ‘breathing space’ and we’d like everyone to think of it every time they are out on the road,” she said. 

Mrs Haines also reminded car owners to perform a vehicle check before heading away on their summer holiday. 

  • Prepare your vehicle – check your tyres, fluid levels, lights, and clean your windscreen.
  • Prepare yourself – be rested before a long drive, plan the trip so you share the driving and take regular breaks to minimise fatigue.
  • Check your load security and trailer coupling locks when towing a boat, trailer or caravan. 

The multi-media ‘create breathing space’ campaign is being driven by the Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group. To tie in with its launch, a competition is being run on the www.reducetherisk.co.nz website giving people the opportunity to win 1 of 10 vouchers for a wheel alignment redeemable at any Bridgestone or Firestone branch. Two vouchers will be given away each week over five weeks, ending on Sunday 26 January 2014. 

The regional road safety education group is led by Waikato Regional Council, working in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders including the NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police and councils. 

For more information about the group’s work visit www.reducetherisk.co.nz.