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Published: 2011-05-13 00:00:00

Motorists are being urged to drive with their headlights on at all times over winter to help reduce the risk of crashes. The “headlights on” winter safety message will be seen on highway billboards, heard on radios and read in newspapers across the Waikato region as the regional road safety campaign “Reduce the Risk” enters its winter phase in May.

Waikato Regional Council road safety coordinator Monique Haines, speaking on behalf of the multi-agency campaign, said the most effective ways drivers can reduce the risk of crashing this winter is to adjust their driving to the conditions and turn their headlights on so they can be seen more easily.

“Winter means fog and visibility issues will become more frequent again. It doesn’t matter which mode of transport you use, if you stay alert and make sure other road users can see you then your chances of having a crash are reduced significantly.”

The “headlights on” message is critical for all road users, including truck and car drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists.

“Vulnerable road users, especially those travelling on two-wheels and pedestrians, are further encouraged to maximise their visibility by using flashing lights and wearing reflective clothing during the dark winter months,” said Mrs Haines.

Younger members of the community will also be a focus of this campaign and they will be targeted through bus-back advertising and school promotions.

The Waikato “Reduce the Risk” campaign has now been running for two years, with modules targeting drugs and alcohol, seatbelts and child restraints, fatigue, motorcycles, speed, truck driver safety, driver distraction and visibility.

The campaign website www.reducetherisk.co.nz features campaign messages, a resources page, road safety tips and tools, online competitions and helpful web links.

Mrs Haines says the regional campaign is the work of a regional education group involving all of the key agencies involved in road safety and that the Waikato is recognised as leading the country in the way that stakeholders collaborate to promote road safety.