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North Shore crash rate worsens


North Shore crash rate worsens

North Shore City' vehicle crash statistics have shown an increase in the past year, and it is worrying road safety staff and the council.

For the past few years, the city has had one of the lowest tolls for injuries and deaths on its roads, compared with other similar cities.

But the latest report produced by the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) shows that death and injury crashes have increased in the North Shore City ahead of Auckland and Wellington cities.

The national trend also shows an increasing accident rate despite efforts by national and local government to lower the toll.

The city's works and environment committee has supported the city's continuing efforts to bring the toll down.

The committee was told at its meeting today that there were 8 deaths, 73 serious injuries and 369 minor casualties in the city over 2002, part of a national toll costing an estimated $3.7 billion annually in loss of output, medical and legal costs and property damage. The city's share of this figure is over $94.9m, representing a huge burden on the local community.

The council's works and environment committee chairperson, Joel Cayford, says these figures tell only a part of the story, since they don't record the many unreported accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists which also occur on road reserves.

"One of the key elements of road safety is engineering - in other words, building and maintaining our streets and traffic systems to make them as safe as possible," Councillor Cayford says.

"We need to have the same philosophy when it comes to the engineering of our footpaths and other road facilities - but we have limited information regarding accidents to pedestrians and cyclists on footpaths.

"Certainly a very large proportion of these accidents off the road will go unreported, so we need to gather as much data as possible from a variety of sources, such as the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), insurance companies, police and the medical fraternity.

"We can then analyse the data and find out where the council should have an input, with a view to making the city a safer place for all. The city can't sustain the costs of these accidents," Councillor Cayford says.


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