In the first five months of 2019, 39 people died on Bay of Plenty roads, with numerous others seriously injured, resulting in families and friends having to endure immeasurable and unnecessary heartache and suffering, police said today.
"Police talk a lot about road safety, both in the media and at the roadside, however in some cases the message is just not getting through," Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe said.
This Queen's Birthday weekend, police will have an increased presence on our highways, monitoring driver behaviour and taking action to prevent crashes, he said.
"You can expect to see us and if your driving is poor, expect to be stopped.
"Our staff are out there to make a difference and are focused on preventing these absolute tragedies.
"But we can't do it alone.
"Our request to all road users is simple – drive or ride in a responsible way so everybody can get to where they're going safely."
With bad weather predicted for many parts of our region, it's also important to remember to drive to the conditions, Crowe said.
This means lowering your speed, watching your following distances, and using your headlights to ensure you can be seen.
"If you're going too fast or you're not paying attention to your driving and something happens, you may not have the time or space in front of you to react quickly enough.
"It is also vitally important that everybody wears a seatbelt, or if you're on a bike – an appropriate safe helmet.
Crow said they were there to increase the chances of survival if there was a crash.
"Some of the people who lost their lives on Bay of Plenty roads this year could still be here if they were wearing their seatbelt.
"If you're going away for the long weekend, take breaks and share the driving if you can.
"Remember it's your own life you're risking, along with anybody else in your car or sharing the road with you.
"We don't want to see any more families shattered by losing loved ones on the road. Everyone has a role to play in keeping our roads safe, so please, do your bit. If we all did this it would be a very different outcome."