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Published: 2012-03-30 00:00:00

Motorists are being urged to drive with their headlights on at all times over the coming winter months to help reduce the risk of crashes.

The “headlights on” safety message will be seen on highway billboards across the Waikato from the beginning of April as the regional ‘Reduce the Risk’ road safety campaign enters its winter phase.

Adjusting to the road and traffic conditions and turning on headlights so vehicles can be seen more easily are the most effective ways drivers can reduce the risk of crashing, said Waikato Regional Council road safety coordinator Monique Haines, speaking on behalf of the multi-agency campaign.

“We’re really pleased with the way Waikato drivers have taken on this message over the years. It’s noticeable when you travel through the region how many drivers are now automatically using their headlights outside of the traditional ‘dusk-dawn’ period.

“There are still drivers using our roads who aren’t so familiar with the changeable conditions so, once again this autumn and winter, we urge all road users to switch on their headlights, night and day.

“It doesn’t matter which mode of transport you use, if you are proactive and make sure other road users can see you then your chances of having a crash are reduced significantly,” she said.

The ‘headlights on’ message is critical for all road users, including truck and car drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists. Pedestrians are also advised to ensure they are as visible as possible at all times.

“Make it a habit and pass the message on to your kids. It’s simple – being more visible really does improve your safety,” Mrs Haines said.

Now in its third year, ‘Reduce the Risk’ is a region wide road safety campaign. It targets the region’s key road safety issues, including speed, drugs and alcohol, fatigue, driver distraction and visibility.

The campaign team is also working closely with the trucking industry and other regional organisations on the promotion of fleet safety.

Visit the website for campaign messages, resources, road safety tips and tools, online competitions and helpful web links.