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Police call on public to avoid horror holiday road toll

Media release: Police call on the public to avoid another horror holiday road toll

Police are calling on all road users to be extra careful this year while travelling on Australia and New Zealand roads during the Christmas and New Year holiday periods. Police do not want a repeat of last year’s horror Christmas/New Year holiday road toll – where 68 lives were lost across Australia and New Zealand.

Sunday 23 December 2012 is the official start to the Australia and New Zealand road toll counting period which ends on 3 January 2013. This period coincides with the launch of the fourth Operation Crossroads – a joint Australia and New Zealand Police Commissioners’ initiative which aims to reduce death and injury on our roads.

ANZPAA CEO Jon White said: “Operation Crossroads is part of the police response to helping eliminate the loss of lives on our roads over holiday periods. Held every Easter and Christmas/New Year period, police put extra focus on drunk/drug driving, speeding, traffic infringements and licence offences.”

“We want to put an end to the approximately 60 Australians and New Zealanders who leave their homes over Christmas/New Year and never return because they have been violently killed on the roads. Many Australians and New Zealanders have been personally affected by the trauma of a road crash and the cost to individuals and families in terms of personal suffering and economic loss – as well as the adverse impacts on other road users, emergency service providers and health workers – is enormous.”

“Over the past decade road fatalities have been trending downwards in Australia and New Zealand. However, this means nothing to those people who are impacted the most by road deaths and the families and friends that are left behind. For them, these statistics are meaningless. They have suffered an immeasurable loss.”

“Police recognise that most road crashes are avoidable. If everyone plays their part, we can drive the number of crashes down even further so let’s really focus on safer driving this year,” said Mr White.
Road accidents kill on average 1,400 people every year in Australia1 and on average 400 a year in New Zealand2.

The Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) is the agency that serves Police Commissioners in Australia and New Zealand.

##ENDS##

1. Australian Transport Council. (n.d.) National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020. Canberra, ACT: Australian Transport Council. http://www.atcouncil.gov.au/documents/files/NRSS_2011_2020_15Aug11.pdf
2. Ministry of Transport. n.d.. New Zealand’s road safety strategy 2010–2020. Wellington: Ministry of Transport. http://www.transport.govt.nz/saferjourneys/Documents/SaferJourneyStrategy.pdf.

Notes to the Editor:
Operation Crossroads is a joint initiative of Police Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand. Operation Crossroads supports the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which was launched in May 2011. The operation starts on 23 December 2012 and ends on 3 January 2013.

To find out more information on Operation Crossroads please visit www.anzpaa.org.au
For national Road Toll statistics please go to: http://www.anzpaa.org.au/current-initiatives/australian-road-safety-campaign
For road safety statistics please go to www.anzpaa.org.au

Previous Christmas National Road Toll Statistics
Australia Christmas/New Year 2011-12: 50, New Zealand Christmas/New Year 2011-12: 181
Australia Christmas/New Year 2010-11: 36
Australia Christmas/New Year 2009-10: 65
Australia Christmas/New Year 2008-09: 57
Australia Christmas/New Year 2007-08: 48

Note: 2012 is the first year ANZPAA has listed holiday road toll figures for New Zealand. Prior to this date, New Zealand road toll statistics have been reported by the New Zealand Ministry of Transport.
Note: The New Zealand Ministry of Transport (who use a different counting period) kindly provide ANZPAA with the New Zealand road toll figures which fall within the Australian counting period (00:01 23 December 2012-00:59 3 January 2013). New Zealand’s official Christmas holiday counting period for 2012 will begin at 1600 (NZ time) on Monday 24 December 2012 and end at 0600 (NZ time) Thursday 3 January 2013. Therefore the road toll statistics reported by ANZPAA will differ from the official New Zealand road toll. The official New Zealand road toll for the Christmas period will be available from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport’s website: www.transport.govt.nz.

Regards
ANZPAA Secretariat

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