Drivers should always arrive home safe, no matter the road conditions.
That is the message from Waitaki District Council road safety co-ordinator Jason Evered, following the death of a 20-year-old man in a single-vehicle crash on State Highway 1 at Maheno, south of Oamaru, on Sunday.
Rhain Watea Henry Bowsher (20) died when the northbound people mover he was driving left State Highway 1 near the southern entrance to the North Otago township and careened down a bank shortly after 10am.
He was found dead at the scene.
Mr Evered said the fatal crash was the third serious crash reported to him by police within the past week, a trend he did not want to see continue.
“One thing I live by is that I expect to come home in the same condition as I left, and I hope everyone experiences that.”
While the cause of Sunday’s crash was being investigated by the Serious Crash Unit, he implored drivers to take more care on all roads – sealed or gravel – no matter the conditions or time of year.
“I think some people just don’t think it’s going to happen to them. Unfortunately, accidents and crashes do happen.”
He encouraged people to talk to each other about road safety.
As part of his role, Mr Evered promoted road safety through platforms such as newspapers, radio and social media, and also initiatives including fatigue stops which involved police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
People charged with drink-driving who appeared in the Oamaru District Court were also required to view a Waitaki-made DVD about the personal and social consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the district had 1800km of sealed and unsealed roads in its network, from coastal roads to mountain passes, which meant drivers needed to pay closer attention to the conditions.
“People aren’t necessarily used to those different types [of roads] and don’t drive on gravel roads very often, so it’s about making sure people are aware of . . . what they are going to be driving on.”