Checks a perfect pick-me-up

By Patrick O'Sullivan

Every State Highway motorist travelling south of Waipukurau was breathalysed by police yesterday, before being offered a roadside coffee and muffin by RoadSafe Hawke's Bay.

The offer was well received and needed by many motorists on a long weekend, Regional Transport safety co-ordinator Linda Anderson said.

"People tend to push themselves - they press a lot of stuff into a weekend event and then get in their vehicles and drive," she said.

The result was fatigue, a significant contributing factor in driving accidents.

She said repeating the message was necessary.

"You would think any road safety message was common sense, but not when you compare it with our statistics."

Persistence was paying off for motorists.

"We have done extremely well, we have had some very good reductions in fatalities and serious crashes."

The joint effort with police is typical of RoadSafe.

Recently the organisation hosted a week-long expo featuring presentations from fire, police, St John Ambulance staff, as well as personal stories from crash survivors.

It was too graphic for some, with dozens of students fainting.

While police praised the high-impact expo, Ms Anderson said "a lot of damage control" had been necessary.

"We don't bring kids there to faint - some kids chose to take themselves out if they are emotionally triggered because a relative was killed."

Apart from some multiple fatality accidents this year, the Eastern District was enjoying a lower road toll than previous years, she said.

The Government's New Zealand Transport Agency funds RoadSafe Hawke's Bay.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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