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Historic zero road toll for Easter weekend


Media Release: 10 April 2012

Historic zero road toll for Easter weekend shows what is possible

The AA congratulates drivers after New Zealand finished the Easter holiday period with no deaths on the road for the first time in recorded history.

There had been no fatal crashes reported when the holiday period officially ended at 6am this morning – the first time this has happened since records began in 1956.

The previous lowest road toll for Easter was 3 deaths in 2002 and 2003, while last year there were five people killed over the period and 2010 was a horror Easter with 12 deaths.

To add to the cause for celebration, this follows no deaths on our roads for the five days leading up to Easter, meaning New Zealand has so far not had a road fatality in April.

“This is a day to celebrate for road safety in New Zealand,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“Every driver should take pride in this milestone and the AA wants to thank everyone who was out on the roads this weekend for helping to achieve this. Drivers deserve to take a bow.

“To have no one killed on our roads for the first nine days of April, when there has been a lot more people out on the roads and driving long distances over Easter, is a historic and outstanding moment.”

With this fatality free Easter following the record low annual road toll in 2011, the AA hopes New Zealand is seeing a real and enduring transformation in our road safety.

“This Easter weekend proves road deaths are not inevitable,” says Mr Thomsen.

“The way each and every driver behaves and the choices they make individually behind the wheel make a huge difference to our road safety.

“There will have been people this Easter who chose not to drive drunk, drivers who pulled over and had a rest when they were tired, drivers who didn’t use their cellphones and there will have been drivers who didn’t overtake in a risky spot. All of these little individual actions, combined with a bit of luck, have added up to a stunning result.”

This is a strong confirmation that we do not have to accept unnecessary deaths on our roads and, as we near the end of year one in the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the AA believes its goal of halving road tolls around the world by 2020 is possible.

Ends

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Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

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