Nelson Bays Police are urging people to remain vigilant when driving on the region’s roads in a bid to reduce the carnage of the past week.
It’s been a horror start to the year on New Zealand roads with more than 100 deaths and Nelson has not escaped unscathed.
On April 5, cyclist Ann Rigg was struck by a car on SH6 at the intersection with Glen Rd in Wakapuaka. Another accident occurred on March 31 which claimed the life of 64-year-old Douglas Charles Cater.
Area Commander Inspector Paul Borrell says nationally the number of people killed on the roads in recent weeks has been a tragedy and a timely reminder to exercise vigilance, courtesy, patience and to avoid fatigue when using our roads.
“This is even more of a concern as we head into the Easter school holidays and the winter months.”
He says the police are committed to people getting through their journeys safely and makes no apologies for their strong focus on behaviours that impact on road safety.
Paul says current indications are that a significant number of serious injury and fatal crashes involve distraction, often the use of cell phones, therefore have causes that are entirely preventable.
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says the number of serious accidents lately has been devastating for many in our community.
“It’s been a dreadful few weeks on our nation’s roads and sadly the Nelson region is no exception.”
Rachel implores all road users to be focused and patient, and to plan trips with plenty of time to reach your destination.
“It is our duty to concentrate and be attentive to ensure we all stay safe.”
Last Thursday, the Tasman Wheelers, where Ann Rigg was a member, farewelled their friend with a tribute ride to her funeral at Marsden House.
“It’s very sad to be here, she was so enthusiastic and just had time for everyone,” says club member Mike Rutledge.
He says the ride was the club’s way of remembering Ann while also bringing some awareness around cycling safety.
“People need to realise just how vulnerable cyclists are. When there is an accident with a cyclist it usually involves hospital or worse.”
Starting at Millers Acre, about 50 lycra-clad cyclists rode together behind a pilot vehicle adorned in tributes for Ann.
Mike says Ann was a real competitor, but once the race was over, she was such a warm welcoming and happy person.
“She will be sorely missed.”