Know the code before you hit the road 20 April 2018 The triple fatal crash on a road to the Coromandel last night is an absolute tragedy and a stark reminder to remember driver safety when at the wheel. Emergency services were called to a two-car crash on Kopu Bridge, State Highway 25 last night which involved two cars with two people in each. Three of the people died, while the condition of a 54-year-old man who was also taken to hospital with critical injuries, had since stabilised. Our Mayor Sandra Goudie says it has been heart-breaking to hear about the tragedy on our State Highway and her thoughts are with the victims' families. "To those travelling on our roads, please make sure you are focused on your driving and have no distractions," she says. Mayor Sandra asks people to think about when they last read the road code as part of our new 'Know the code' road safety campaign. Even if you have a current drivers licence and sat your driving test a long time ago, you still need to know what's in it. Our Council's road safety coordinator Ingrid Le Fevre says the 'Know the code' campaign reminds people about refreshing themselves on the road code, and focuses on fatigue while driving. "It is anticipated over the school holidays many of you will be travelling on our roads with friends and family, so we have some tips on how to combat fatigue," Ingrid says. These include: Get a good night's sleep before travelling Plan two-hourly pull over spots Take a water bottle with you to keep hydrated Allow plenty of time for the trip f you're travelling with others, share the driving. If you're the passenger you can also help by keeping the driver refreshed and reminding them of the tips above. Every Council in East Waikato has been given goodie bags to give away. Keep an eye out for our local Police across district as they will also have giveaways. "We want the public to be more aware of fatigue and what it means if you drive tired," Ms Le Fevre says. "Falling asleep at the wheel is an extreme form of fatigue and late nights is one of the most common causes of fatigue, so make sure you follow our tips." You can pick up a copy of the road code from your local library or win one by following us on Facebook. For further information please contact our Road Safety Co-ordinator Ingrid Le Fevre on 07 868 0200. Possible closure of Coromandel rescue helicopter A restructure of air ambulance services across New Zealand by the Ministry of Health and ACC may result in the closure of the rescue helicopter base on the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust is organising a public meeting about the issue, to be held on Saturday 5 May at 3:30pm at the rescue helicopter base at the end of Abrahamson Drive in Whitianga. Walter Russell, Chairman of the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust, says they hope for a large turnout of people at the meeting. “According to the Ministry of Health and ACC, patients are at the centre of their restructure of the rescue helicopters operating across New Zealand,” he says. “The best interest of patients won’t be achieved by closing the rescue helicopter base in Whitianga. We already have a twin engine helicopter and experts crews, including highly experienced paramedics, of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust operating from the base. Longer emergency response times means that the restructure will only have a downside, and no benefit whatsoever, for the residents of and visitors to the Coromandel, the Hauraki Plains and the islands in the Hauraki Gulf." “And let’s not forget, the base was built and is operated with community funds. The rescue helicopter enjoys tremendous support from one of the most isolated regions in New Zealand.“Strength is in numbers. We need as many people as possible to sacrifice an hour of their Saturday afternoon on 5 May to come show their support for the rescue helicopter base we have on the Coromandel," says Mr Russell. “We’ll finalise the meeting agenda as soon as we know who will be speaking,” says Mr Russell. “The meeting is our opportunity to send a very strong message to the government." For more information on the Coromandel Rescue Trust see coromandelrescue.org.nz.