Christmas Holiday Safety Message

  • Maurice Williamson

PREPARATION AND PATIENCE are the keys to safe travel this holiday season says Transport Minister Hon. Maurice Williamson.

"Christmas is a time for celebrating and visiting friends and family. Unfortunately, it's also one of our worst times of the year for road crashes. But it doesn't have to be. By planning ahead and being patient on the roads, we can all make these holidays safer," said Mr. Williamson.

The volume of traffic on the roads increases sharply over the holiday period, and drivers should budget extra time for their journeys, Mr. Williamson said. "Plan to take your time and be patient. Allow extra travelling time and take rest breaks to avoid fatigue. Share the driving if you can."

Given the increased traffic volume, it was especially important that people drive within the speed limits and according to the conditions. "Traffic will be heavier than usual, but be patient and you'll reach your destination. Remember, 'the faster you go, the bigger the mess'," Mr. Williamson said.

The Minister also stressed the importance of buckling up in preparing for any journey, and reminded parents and other drivers of their duty to see that children are strapped in. "A lot of families will be travelling during these holidays. It is the driver's responsibility to see that children under 15 are wearing seatbelts or in approved child restraints. Statistics show us that 29 people have died in crashes this year because they weren't using seatbelts or in child restraints. Let's not have any more needless deaths over the holidays."

Drink-driving is a particular concern over the holidays, and Mr. Williamson urged people to avoid problems by preparing safe transport well in advance. "If you're planning on drinking, you'd better not plan on driving," he said. "Plan alternatives ahead of time - have a sober driver, use public transport or taxis, dial-a-driver, or stay the night.

"Christmas is a season for celebration, not for mourning, and with a little patience and preparation, we can all see the New Year in," said Mr Williamson.

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