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Road toll last month was one of the lowest ever

Road toll last month was one of the lowest ever

"The consistent and highly visible approach to road safety that has been adopted by New Zealand Police has been shown to be effective", said Deputy Commissioner Steve Long today.

"Police have taken a lot of criticism for this approach but the results have shown that we are making a difference to the safety of New Zealand roads.
Through the work of Police in conjunction with partner agencies, more people are alive today than might otherwise have been the case."

"The road toll last month was one of the lowest ever, and the 404 road toll last year was the lowest in forty years. The reduction in all types of trauma is also remarkable" he said ,"overall reported serious injuries have decreased from 4300 per year in the mid-1980s to approximately 2,500 per year in 2002."

"Although this is still far too many and the human cost is far too high, we believe that our approach has been a significant factor in this change."

The latest Crime Victimisation Survey shows that the highest levels of community concern are still centred on fears around unsafe and dangerous driving.

This is backed up the most recent LTSA Public Attitudes survey where 95% of those surveyed supported either maintaining or increasing current road safety enforcement.

There are still gains to be made towards ensuring our roads are safer and our drivers are more responsible.

"Road Policing now accounts for 23% of the total police budget and a high proportion,( roughly half) of the service is delivered by general duties police. The synergies with other areas of policing are significant. After all, a lot of criminal activity involves a vehicle these days and Road Policing has a pivotal part to play in the total crime reduction and community safety approach of New Zealand Police. "

As an aside, Deputy Commissioner Long noted that research showed that young people were more supportive of Road Policing being a component of New Zealand Police than older age groups.

"Over the last decade it is the younger age groups who have featured strongly in our enforcement efforts and yet they obviously have the good sense to appreciate the safety gains that have been made.

"It would be tragic if the good work since the merger with the Traffic Safety Service was to be overshadowed by a minority who might harbour hopes of unscrambling the egg," said Deputy Commissioner Long.

More on Road Safety:
http:// http://www.police.govt.nz/service/road/

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