National | Easter

Tips for staying safe this Easter weekend - Police

Police are encouraging the public to look out for each other and keep safe this Easter weekend, wherever you may be across the country.

Inspector Pete Mckennie, Manager of Road Policing Operations says, "With the four-day weekend coming up, it’s a great opportunity to take a well-deserved break and connect with family and friends."

"But no matter what you are doing, the simple message is that we want everyone to have fun and keep safe, so that all of us can be around to enjoy friends and family in the future."

He also warns parents to keep watch over their children and to model the right behaviour, saying, "“And for those of us with kids, it’s also a good reminder to look out for them too – and to model the right behaviour we’d want them to follow too, given that they learn by watching what we do."

"Unfortunately, in past Easter holidays, some of us have not made it home to our friends or whānau, while others of us have been injured or been victims of crime.  That’s why we encourage everyone to keep an eye out for each other and be safe."

This year's Easter holiday period runs from 4pm on Thursday 13 April to 6am on Tuesday 18 April.  The highest crash risk period will be between 4pm–8pm on Thursday when most travellers are leaving for holiday destinations.

"If you’re travelling on the country’s roads, this means driving to the conditions, particularly if the weather is going to be wet and the visibility bad, as well as making sure to ‘buckle up buttercup’, not drink and drive, and to please check your speed,” says Inspector McKennie.

"Police will be maintaining a highly visible presence on the roads, and keeping an eye out for high risk driver behaviour that puts all of us at risk.  A reduced 4km/hr speed threshold will also apply to speed cameras as it has done for other holiday weekends."

"We need to be considerate of others too, and if necessary, suggest delaying travel to avoid peak higher risk periods, such as Thursday evening which is a period of higher crash risk due to increased traffic volumes."

"We also want people to have a good time if they’re out having a few drinks, but to be safe too.  This means keeping an eye on your mates, not driving if you’ve been drinking, and not going overboard on the alcohol to the point that you may become a risk to yourself or others.”

With hunting, tramping and other outdoor activities on the agenda for many, being appropriately prepared is a must – particularly as Mountain Safety Council data shows more people are injured in the outdoors and involved in a search and rescue incident on average during Easter than compared with any other public holiday.

“This means having the right clothing and equipment for the trip and the weather – even if just a short day walk – and having enough food and provisions to survive if you get caught out.  Planning ahead, including telling someone where you are going and when you are intending to be back is also critical to help avoid becoming the subject of a search and rescue operation.”

Inspector McKennie says taking all reasonable steps to ensure your property and valuables are secure before heading away can also save a lot of grief.  “It sounds obvious, but making sure all windows and doors are locked and anything valuable is safely out of sight are simple steps we can all take.  Securing garden sheds, garages and putting away tools or objects that can be used to gain entry, and asking friends or neighbours to keep an eye on your property can also help reduce the risk of being the victim of a burglary or break-in.”

Main points to recap for this Easter:

-  Easter holiday period runs from 4pm on Thursday 13 April to 6am on Tuesday 18 April

-  Right behaviour modelled around young people

-  Travel safely on the roads, check your speed

-  No drink driving, keep an eye on your mates

-  Being appropriately prepared for outdoor activities like hunting

-  Planning ahead, telling someone where you're going

-  Ensure your property and valuables are secure