INDEPENDENT NEWS

Wake Up To Driver's Fatigue

Published: Fri 14 Dec 2007 12:02 AM
Wake Up To Driver's Fatigue
A new road safety television advertisement goes to air this Sunday (16 December), urging New Zealanders to wake up to the warning signs of driver fatigue.
The new fatigue advertising campaign supports an inter-agency strategy to combat driver fatigue developed by the Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Police, Land Transport NZ, Transit New Zealand, ACC and the Department of Labour. To view the strategy, go to www.transport.govt.nz.
While the issue of driver fatigue has been targeted with advertising previously in New Zealand, the new campaign is the first to use high profile/hard-hitting television ads to raise awareness of the risks of driving tired.
Fatigue is a serious road safety issue in New Zealand. Tired drivers contributed to the deaths of more than 40 people and the injury of nearly 1000 in road crashes in 2006. Crashes which result from driver fatigue are among the most violent on the road. They often occur when drivers have actually fallen asleep and are unable to brake or avoid the impending crash.
The new campaign asks drivers to recognise the symptoms of fatigue and illustrates the potentially deadly consequences of not acknowledging the warning signs. While the television ads point out the dangers of driving tired, supporting radio, print and outdoor advertising focuses on solutions, asking people to consciously plan journeys rather than simply focus on getting to their destination.
Land Transport NZ Chief Executive Wayne Donnelly said the campaign aimed to personalise the issue of fatigue for drivers.
“While most people realise that fatigued driving is dangerous, many will still get behind the wheel or continue driving knowing that they are tired. Often they accept the risk because they just want to get where they’re going. We need to recognise that fatigue is not someone else’s problem. The tiredness each of us experiences when we are behind the wheel is dangerous, and we need to wake up to the warning signs before it’s too late.”
The most common effects of fatigue on driving are difficulty keeping a vehicle within its lane, drifting off the road, frequent and unnecessary changes in speed and not reacting in time to a dangerous situation.
ENDS

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