AA backs actions to reduce visiting driver crashes

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Source: AA – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: AA backs actions to reduce visiting driver crashes

The AA is welcoming the Government’s announcement today of a range of road safety improvements set to be rolled out in areas with high rates of crashes involving visiting drivers.

“We have nearly 3 million tourists visiting New Zealand every year, many of them drive, and the public are hugely concerned about some of the horrific crashes that have taken place,” says AA spokesperson Simon Douglas.

“There is no silver bullet for preventing these crashes but the package of measures announced today is going to make the roads safer for locals and visitors alike.”

The AA was particularly pleased to see that actions will include:

  • Roading improvements like 50km of rumblestrip centreline, directional arrows on an additional 200km of roads, 140km of no passing markings, better signage and information
  • Providing better information to visitors about road rules and driving safely in New Zealand
  • Encouraging rental firms to provide vehicles with more modern safety features

There has already been some good initiatives taken by the Government and the tourism industry to try and make the roads safer, like rental companies providing videos and information to their customers about the differences driving here, Air New Zealand introducing a video on in-bound flights from China and a steering wheel tag created for hire vehicles that shows key road rules.

“There is a lot of good work being done looking at ways to reduce these tragic crashes and that has to continue. The AA has had a lot of Members contacting us with ideas about improving the safety of visiting drivers, which shows how much people care about this issue,” says Mr Douglas.

“One of the things the AA encourages people to do is to phone *555 and report instances of dangerous driving so that the authorities can identify the worst problem areas and focus on making them safer. That may require the *555 system to be beefed up so that people can be sure their calls will have an effect.

“Ultimately we all want tourists to keep coming to New Zealand, be safe on our roads, and go home having had a fantastic experience.”

Simon Douglas
Motoring Policy Manager
New Zealand Automobile Association
T. 04 931 9985
M. 021 607 647
E. sdouglas@aa.co.nz

The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with more than one million members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay more than $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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