2013 road toll another record breaker

Press Release – New Zealand Automobile Association

The lowest annual road toll since 1950 is not due to any one change, says the Automobile Association.Media Release: 31 December 2013
2013 road toll another record breaker

The lowest annual road toll since 1950 is not due to any one change, says the Automobile Association.

As of this morning, 254 people had lost their lives on the roads. This is a 17% reduction from last year. In the last 60 years the only other year with a road toll below 300 was in 2011.

“This is the lowest number of people killed in road crashes since 232 deaths in 1950,” says AA General Manager of Motoring Affairs Mike Noon.

“When you look at the number of people using the roading network in modern New Zealand, our roads are the safest they have ever been.

“That doesn’t change the fact that each and every one of the deaths and serious injuries suffered on our roads are tragic events that cause enormous hurt and loss in families and our communities.”

Some of the best areas of improvement in this year’s road toll are:
• The biggest reduction has been in passenger deaths – down 41%
• Motorcyclist deaths have fallen 18% from 2012
• There has been a 38% reduction in deaths among 25-39 year olds
• The four regions with the biggest reductions are: Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay, Waikato, Manawatu/Wanganui, and Southland

The question that will continue to be asked is why our road toll has dropped so significantly in recent years, but there is no single answer says Mr Noon.

“Vehicle safety is improving dramatically and that’s a part of it. There has been some fantastic work done to improve the quality of high risk roads and roadsides and that’s a part of it. People’s attitudes to road safety and the way they drive have also changed for the better and that’s a part of it. All of these together are helping to bring down our road toll.”

It is not just road deaths that are falling either.

“Since 2009 we’ve seen a downward trend in the number of injury crashes,the number of drink drivers and the number of young drivers involved in fatal and serious crashes.

“What this continues to show is that deaths and injuries on our roads are not inevitable. On a per capita basis we are now almost at the same rate of road deaths as Australia.

“Improving road safety is something we can never be complacent about. We can and must do better again in 2014.

“The AA sincerely hopes that this time next year we can again celebrate more reductions in deaths and injuries on our roads.”

Ends

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