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Road safety demonstrations to take place

12 February 2008

Vehicle demonstrations are to take place outside a number of schools around Christchurch from next week, in a bid to get drivers to reduce their speed.

It is the fourth year these events have taken place in the city and aim to demonstrate to the school communities how much longer it takes to stop when travelling at 60km/h than it does when travelling at 50km/h - nearly twice the distance.

They will also shows school students how long it takes for a car to stop once the driver has seen a pedestrian.

'Many people have no idea of the distance it takes to stop, and the way that distance increases with greater speeds.  These events provide a graphic demonstration of the distance” says Susan Cambridge, Christchurch Road Safety Co-ordinator.

'This is a road safety event where Police, Fire Service, St John and ACC work with the Christchurch City Council to demonstrate safety to the community.  It is humbling to work with a group of people so dedicated to improving safety on our roads'.

Proving the demonstrations are helping to raise awareness throughout the community, a telephone survey commissioned in 2006 by Christchurch City Council found that over 50% of the survey sample had heard of the events and as a result most of that 50% knew how much longer it took for a vehicle to stop at 60km/h. 

The events use real cars and real drivers to demonstrate the effect the car crash will have on pedestrians. Props such as tomato sauce are used to intensify the impact of the crash.

The braking demonstration is followed by a mock crash where the Fire Service and St John rescue victims trapped in a crashed car.  They use the ‘jaws of life’ to take the roof off the car.

Commentary is supplied throughout the demonstrations by radio hosts from The Breeze or The Edge radio stations, to provide information about speed and stopping distances.

Competition entry forms will be distributed to the audience at the start of the demonstration to guess how much longer it takes to stop at 60km/h as opposed to 50km/h.  Prizes include driving courses, first aid kits and swimming pool passes.

Road safety pens, fridge magnets with information about stopping distances and speed and cards will be distributed, along with fact sheets and road safety stickers. A sausage sizzle will also be on site at each event to help draw in spectators.

The first of these demonstrations is due to take place on Tuesday 19 February 10-11am at CPIT, Williams Street.

The remaining hour-long demonstrations will take place as follows:

Tuesday 26 February 6.30-7.30pm, Merrin School, Beatrice Avenue

Tuesday 4 March 6.30-7.30pm, Belfast School, Sheldon Park Car Park

Tuesday 18 March 1-2pm, Linwood College, Ryan Street

Each demonstration will involve a temporary road closure.


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