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Published: 2004-12-23 00:00:00

Waikato drivers will see some “appalling presents” around the Region’s roads this Christmas as Environment Waikato’s new road safety campaign gets underway.

This year’s festive season campaign includes roadside billboards reminding people of the tragedy of road crashes for affected families, with images of gift labels from “Tailgating Motorist” to “Funeral”. Environment Waikato Road Safety Marketing and Promotions spokesman Barnaby Bates said the “Appalling Present” campaign focused on Christmas being a time of celebration, bearing gifts of joy not sadness.

“With more than 37 dead already and the Christmas period not yet begun, we already have a terrible toll on our roads. The billboards remind people of the consequences of driving carelessly by bringing to life the terrible truth that you could give someone a tragic Christmas. This year the holiday season presents the same grim potential for despair from avoidable incidents and trauma on our roads,” he said.

“It seems to be a perennial problem, and it will remain so until we adopt a different attitude towards road safety. We need to increase awareness of responsibility for our own behaviour and the consequences of not reducing speed, aggression and inattention.”

“In addition, due to public interest we shall promote the “How to stop a speeding car … posters and sticker campaign …hopefully to be housed at Local District Council offices and local Police stations.”

The campaign will also include radio advertising to reach families driving to holiday destinations. The billboards go up around the Region this week until mid/late January.