Some of us are lucky to live and work in the Hauraki and Coromandel Districts.
At this time of year, we're joined by lots of visitors - with many travelling by car or motorcycle on State Highway 25 to enjoy their summer break.
The State Highway is 270km's of winding and hilly roads with 983 curves, give or take a few.
Sadly, the crash rate on the Coromandel Loop is too high, so a new road safety campaign – 'Stay Alive On 25' – has been designed to try to prevent serious injury and fatal crashes on this highway.
The campaign is a multi-agency initiative involving police, Hauraki District Council and Thames Coromandel District Council.
Thames Police Officer, Constable Catherine Sell, and our Road Safety Co-ordinator, Ingrid Le Fevre, have been working together for a year on the campaign. In their roles they both saw too many people being injured or killed in their area, and they want to reduce the risk of people suffering from the trauma that crashes cause.
“The number of road users on SH25 is increasing and we don’t want the number of crashes to follow,” says Constable Catherine Sell. “Every serious crash has a traumatic effect on victims and their families. We don’t want to see any more families missing their loved ones at Christmas.”
High risk driver behaviour such as crossing the centreline and overtaking in unsafe places cause 93% of all serious and fatal crashes on the Coromandel Loop.
"Stay Alive on 25 is a simple campaign about the basics," says Ms Le Fevre. "Keep to your side of the road, drive to the conditions, slow down on our winding roads, keep your water bottle in the car, stay off your cellphone, plan your trip with rest stops and stay safe."
The campaign targets road users by creating awareness of the challenges SH25 presents. It also highlights the importance of taking regular breaks from driving.
Police will be handing out brochures and stickers at traffic stops as they check drivers and passengers are wearing restraints correctly, drivers are not over their alcohol limit, and that they have an appropriate driver license.
If you would like to show your support for this road safety initiative and help us spread the safety message around our beautiful part of the country, head into your local library or council office to check out the display, grab a sticker, fill out the brochure and send it back to be into win a T-Shirt, awesome drink bottle, or cooler bag.
“We want people to reach their destinations safely, we want you here for Christmas,” says Road Policing Inspector, Marcus Lynam.
“The high number of deaths and serious injury on out roads is having a devastating impact on families. We need to ensure people drive to the conditions, free of distraction and impairment, and are properly restrained. We want people to Stay Alive On 25," says Inspector Lynam.
For further road safety promotions and prizes head to our Hauraki District Council Facebook page.