Starting a conversation about road safety

SRIG co-ordinator Russell Hawkes aims to motivate and support communities to engage in public...
SRIG co-ordinator Russell Hawkes aims to motivate and support communities to engage in public conversation about road risk with the ``Any Number is too Many'' campaign. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
One is too many. That's the message the NZ Transport Agency and the Southern Road Safety Influencing Group are sending.

The "Any Number is Too Many'' campaign has launched across Otago and Southland.

The campaign was initiated by emergency responders in the regions, as the road toll continues to rise. It aims to motivate and support communities to engage in public conversations about road risk.

There have been 14 deaths on Otago roads so far this year and 13 in Southland.

More than 3800 crashes have occurred on Otago roads between 2011 and 2016.

The campaign was launched by the Southern Road Safety Influencing Group (SRIG), which is made up of regional and local authorities from Otago and Southland and representatives from government agencies such as the NZ Transport Agency and ACC.

It was designed to take the conversation away from blaming others about the road toll, SRIG co-ordinator Russell Hawkes said.

"It's always somebody else's fault,'' he said.

"Let's turn it around and say if we're going to make a difference, what's a difference I can make?''

As a manager who looks after the roads, a high priority was to look at road safety, Invercargill City Council roading manager Russell Pearson said.

"The question being is how do we actually get the community talking to us about road safety?

"How do we get them to start thinking about what the road risks are, rather than actually just driving?

"We don't like having to go out there and look at situations where crashes occur.''

The Dunedin City Council was not involved in the campaign, but may be in the future, council transport group manager Richard Saunders said.

 - By Mark Quinlivan

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