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Being bright contributes to Brake NZ Road Safety Week 2012

Being bright on our roads was a key component for the 2012 Road Safety Week promoted by Brake NZ.  Brake NZ is a not-for-profit New Zealand Trust and part of the Brake Charity, an international charity funded solely by donations.   Brake NZ supports those whose lives have been affected by death or serious injury as a result of road accidents.

The theme of the 2012 Road Safety Week, which ran last week 7-13 May, was “together we can save lives” highlighting that road safety is every road user’s responsibility.  As part of the campaign, organisations were encouraged to hold a ‘Bright Day’ where people could go to work wearing the brightest clothes they could find and donate a gold coin to the cause.  The concept was designed to remind motorists to slow down and watch out for pedestrian and cyclists, and remind pedestrians and cyclists to wear high-visibility gear while on the road.

“In the past, road safety has been seen as the responsibility of road users and police officers but the real picture is much, much wider than that and teachers, parents, communities and professionals all have an important part to play,“ said NZTA chief safety advisor Lisa Rossiter. 

People were also encouraged to ‘take the plunge’ by volunteering to take part in a bungee jump from the Auckland Harbour Bridge on the final day of the campaign.   Volunteers were required to raise part of the funds and the rest was sponsored by QBE Insurance.  All funds raised went directly to Brake NZ. 

Mary Williams, Chief Executive at Brake said, “Without the enthusiasm of volunteers taking the plunge for us, Brake wouldn’t be able to continue its work. The money raised will help us to spread life-saving road safety messages, and to offer support to those bereaved or injured by a road crash.  It’s a Kiwi tradition to jump off high things, so it was appropriate people gave it a go in aid of a great cause!”

Thinking bright is a timely message that coincides with shorter daylight hours during autumn and winter.  Cyclists are especially vulnerable on the road if they are not wearing high-visibility gear and using correct bike lights in periods of low-light or bad weather conditions.  For more information on legal requirements for cyclists biking during hours of darkness visit www.bikewise.co.nz/bebright.