Tragic increase in annual road toll

Press Release – Automobile Association

Tragic increase in annual road toll A big increase in road deaths in 2014 is extremely sad and disappointing, says the Automobile Association.Tragic increase in annual road toll

A big increase in road deaths in 2014 is extremely sad and disappointing, says the Automobile Association.

As at this morning, this year’s road toll was 294 deaths. That is 40 more deaths than last year’s record low annual road toll. Fluctuations in the road toll from one year to another are not uncommon and the previous four years’ annual road tolls have been:

2010: 375
2011: 284
2012: 308
2013: 254

The long-term trend remains downward for deaths on the road, but it is tragic to see more people killed in 2014 than the previous year, says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The big difference between this year and last year is there have been more passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists killed in crashes. There was only a slight increase in the number of drivers who died.

“Six months of the year (January, June, July, August, September and December) had record or near-record low numbers of road deaths. Unfortunately, the other six months had many more deaths than last year which has pushed the annual road toll much higher.

“It’s important to remember that along with the people killed on the roads there are also about 12,000 people injured a year. These crashes can have devastating impacts on the people involved in them as well as their family and friends.”

The AA believes New Zealand should be aiming to cut its annual road toll to less than 200 deaths by 2020, the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, and this year shows there is still a lot of work to be done.

Some of the changes that the AA wants made to reduce road crashes are installing more median barriers on our highways, requiring the safety rating of vehicles to be shown by dealers selling them, introducing random roadside drug testing and making repeat drink drivers have alcohol interlocks installed in their vehicles.

“2013 proved it is possible for us to have a lot less people killed on our roads. There is no one thing alone that will get us there. We need to keep working to not only get people to drive safer but also to improve our roads and the safety of the vehicles on them.”

Ends

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