Gavin’s story

“My most memorable near-miss was on the Earnscleugh straights between Alex and Clyde. It was late morning and good conditions. I had two colleagues with me, and one had just joked about my speed saying “you’ll never get a ticket”.

Next thing, a vehicle in front of me pulled to the left hand side of the road and proceeded to do a u-turn, even though I was right behind them. They came right in front of me.

I ended up having to steer around them. I managed to avoid a crash because I was sticking to the limit, was concentrating, and had awareness of what was happening in front of me. To me, it highlighted the importance of driving to the conditions and driving well.

When I think about the near-misses I had last year, I did everything I could to keep myself safe. Situational awareness helped me. I needed to react quickly every time, and if I was driving faster or wasn’t paying attention, it may have been different.

I’m training for my private pilot’s license – I often think if we drove cars with the same consideration and care we give to flying planes then our roads would be a lot safer.

Driving is Otago Regional Council’s top health and safety concern, and with good reason. For me and everyone at the Council, any number is too many.”

We caught up with Gavin Palmer, Otago Regional Council’s Director of Engineering, Hazards and Science, about what we can to make our roads safer and why the Council is backing Any number is too many.

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