As the holiday season approaches police have started to push the road safety message, hoping for a zero road toll over Christmas and New Year.
Wellington police have taken a novel approach to their message, penning a letter to Santa.
Published this morning the letter reads:
We've been so busy Santa Claus, us boys and girls in blue;
Keeping all our cities safe and our roadways too.
We're counting down the sleeps, with loved ones, 'til you're here,
But Santa, there are just some things we ask of you this year.
Please help all drivers to slow down and think of what's ahead
So we don't knock on someone's door and get them out of bed;
To tell them that their loved one, with gifts beneath the tree,
Won't be coming home tonight to be with family.
Dear Santa, please don't let them drink too many wines or beers,
We know it's fun to celebrate and toast the Christmas cheer,
But Santa please don't let them drink and then decide to drive
Make sure that someone's sober and gets them home alive.
And Santa there is one more thing we'd like to ask of you,
As people travel near and far, make sure they're rested too.
A thin paint line upon the roads is all that stands between,
Them and other travellers, so make sure that they're seen.
And we'll be out there on the roads keeping a watchful eye,
Reminding folks to play it safe, as summer days roll by.
So thank you jolly old St Nick for listening to our call
Here's to a Merry Christmas, that's safe for one and all.
Wellington District Police
The official holiday road toll period will begin at 4pm on Thursday 24 December and end at 6am on Tuesday 5 January.
Last holidays there were 14 fatal crashes and 226 reported injury crashes. Those crashes resulted in 16 deaths, 78 serious injuries and 267 minor injuries.
The deaths included seven drivers, seven passengers and two motorcycle riders.
The Ministry of Transport said about two-thirds of the reported injuries occurred on the open road and 47 per cent were single-vehicle crashes in which a driver lost control or ran off the road.
The most commonly cited contributing factors for crashes over the Christmas holiday period were losing control of the vehicle, travelling too fast for conditions, inattention, alcohol or drugs, inexperience, failing to give way or stop, not seeing the other party, driving too far left and fatigue.