Crash car teaches life lessons

A car involved in a fatal crash on Paekākāariki Hill Road last July is the feature of a region-wide campaign, launched today by Hon. Nathan Guy, Associate Minister of Transport, and Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington, encouraging young people to drive sober.

The family of the car’s owner who was killed in the crash, Richard Chambers, supports it being used in the campaign, in a bid to reduce the number of crashes involving alcohol, and prevent other families suffering their loss.

In the Wellington region, over the last five years, there were 344 crashes where the culpable driver was aged 15-29 years and for which driver alcohol (which actually covers alcohol and / or drugs) was a factor.

Fran Wilde, who also chairs the Wellington Regional Transport Committee, says the car is a valuable education resource. “People regularly see photos or video clips of cars that have been involved in horrific crashes but seeing the wreckage up close makes it that much more vivid and real.

“Driving, after drinking, was Richard Chambers’ last choice. This car is being taken around the region to encourage young people to make their first choice drive sober.”

The car will be transported to various parts of the Wellington region for a month at a time over the next 12 months. It will be available for display at local high schools, marae, shopping malls and other places.

Fran Wilde said the campaign was a collaborative effort between Greater Wellington, Wellington Police District, local council road safety co-ordinators, the NZ Transport Agency, other government agencies and a number of companies that had donated and worked on the trailer for the car. “The time and resources that various companies and organisations have given to this campaign is inspiring. There’s a real determination in our community to reduce the number of people being killed and seriously injured on our region’s roads.”

The car will be in Upper Hutt during May, then Kāpiti in June and Wairarapa in July. Schools and organisations can book the car through the local council road safety co-ordinator. More information and contact details are on www.gw.govt.nz/lastchoice

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