About getting there, not how quickly

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I can’t believe we are already in December and Christmas is just around the corner.

For most of us, Christmas passes us by with maybe one or two small incidents.

However, for far too many families Christmas brings sorrow and heartache, as a friend or loved one is killed in a crash.

I would like you to take a moment and consider an alternative Christmas, one in which everyone gets to relax, enjoy, and spend quality time with loved ones.

When travelling to our holiday destination, what if we all took a moment or avery deep breath and not make that overtake and answer that phone whilst driving?

I’m a father and, between you and me, I have never liked camping under canvas. I made the pledge to the family that once a year I would go camping with them.

I still remember one time; the kids were playing up in the back and me turning to them and telling them just that and I would be more than happy to turn around and go home. I still feel bad to this day because it started the holiday off on the wrong foot and I don’t think we recovered on that break away.

How many times have you looked at a drive and it has a trip time of five hours, and you say to yourself, without stopping and pushing it, I can do that in four, maybe four and a-half hours?

How about we all agree to enjoy the journey and treat it as part of the holiday? This year, how about saying it will take six hours, rather than five, and you stop for coffee and a pie at a cafe or for a play in the park with the children?

I wish I could turn back the clock and instead of saying what I said, I should have taken a deep breath and pulled over at a park and got out and let the children run around and get rid of some of that energy.

People being seriously hurt or being killed on our roads is not funny.

I’m extremely thankful, I never had to knock on a parents door at Christmas and tell them someone in their life had died far too early due to a crash (it was bad enough at other times of the year to give that message).

So, this year, let’s all ask Santa for a zero›death toll on our roads and truly wish for it. The knock-on effect will be the news will be happier as they can’t talk about people dying on our roads. Everyone gets to celebrate with who they want, and it will make for a truly magical time of the year.

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year. For those working, thank you for sacrificing time away from your family to keep us safe, serve us in a shop or pour that coffee while we enjoy our journey.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Jason Evered is the Waitaki District Council road safety co-ordinator