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Road safety campaign announced

The NZTA has introduced electronic tolling on the Northern Gateway Toll Road.
The NZTA has introduced electronic tolling on the Northern Gateway Toll Road.

A crisis meeting was called to discuss the rising number of deaths on New Zealand roads.

A new road safety campaign has been announced after the Motor Trade Association urged the Government to push for vehicle safety as New Zealand’s road toll creeps towards a ten year high. 

The road toll so far sits at 339, 42 more than last year, with still a month until the end of the year.

Two weeks ago, the Green Party’s Julie Anne Genter called representatives from police, the transport agency (NZTA) and Ministry of Transport to Wellington to figure out what changes will have the biggest impact in a short amount of time.

Some of the remedies being considered were improving dangerous roads, and improving awareness and education around road safety.

The joint police and NZTA campaign revolves around a simple message, “we want you here for christmas,” and hopes the simplicity will get through to motorists during this time of year.

“We’re just making sure people, going into the silly season, are paying attention to these things so that they can live long meaningful lives,” Superintendent Steve Greally said.

“Our advice is, as always, don’t drink and drive. Both of those activities are great on their own but they should be kept very separate.”

For Lisa Rossiter, who represented NZTA during the checkpoint operation, the road toll represents 339 broken families.

“As of today, we have got 339 families in New Zealand who have an empty chair at the Christmas dinner table.”

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Vehicles cause headache for consumers

Around one in five people reported they have experienced motor vehicle-related purchase issues from both private sellers and dealers.

Purchasing or servicing motor vehicles was among the highest reported consumer issues in survey initiated by Consumer Protection.

The report has kick-started an awareness campaign to help consumers understand their rights, what questions to ask, and what steps they should take after purchasing their vehicle.

“For a lot of Kiwis, shopping for a car can be quite stressful. We’re seeing they might not know what questions to ask pre-purchase, or what to do if something goes wrong post-purchase,” says Consumer Protection Manager Mark Hollingsworth.

“We surveyed more than 1,200 New Zealanders to gain a better understanding of what the common consumer pitfalls are, and what consumers know about their rights in those situations.

“We found around one in five people reported they either experienced motor vehicle-related purchase issues from both private sellers and dealers, or issues with vehicle repair and maintenance providers. Those who experienced issues were predominantly between 18 – 36 years of age, families with young children, or of Maori or Pacific ethnicity.”

“What’s more, half of those who reported an issue with their vehicle purchase didn’t take any action to resolve it.”

By utilising the survey’s findings, the campaign contains the latest and most accurate information, ensuring the best advice and tips for both buyers and sellers.

“Our main message to consumers is to do your homework before buying a motor vehicle, which is usually a significant purchase. For example, have the vehicle mechanically checked and know what you should be looking for during a test drive,” says Mr Hollingsworth.

“If something goes wrong, most providers want to put things right. It pays to first return to the place you purchased or serviced the vehicle, and there are always other options if an acceptable resolution can’t be found.”

A pre-purchase checklist can be found with other information resources on the Buying, maintaining and renting a car webpage.

For more information visit www.consumerprotection.govt.nz.

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