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Zero toll real proof of improving safety on our roads

Media Release: 4 June 2013 

Zero toll real proof of improving safety on our roads

The first fatality free Queen’s Birthday weekend on record proves New Zealand’s road safety is improving significantly, says the Automobile Association.

The official holiday period ended at 6am this morning, with no fatal crashes since it began on Friday afternoon*.

If the road toll remains at zero, it will be the first time since records began that New Zealand has had no deaths for the holiday weekend.

It continues a significant trend of fewer people being killed and hurt on our roads since 2011.

“It can be misleading to focus on one weekend in isolation but we are now looking at a Queen’s Birthday weekend with no road deaths to follow the first ever fatality-free Easter long weekend in 2012 and a record low number of deaths for the last Christmas/New Year period,” says AA General Manager Motoring Affairs Mike Noon.

“That’s part of a bigger picture of 2011 having a record low annual road toll, and 2012 having the second lowest road toll since 1952.

“At the moment, 2013 could be on track for even less road deaths than the record setting year of 2011 - although all it can take to change things is a couple of horrific crashes.”

The Ministry of Transport commissioned research into why there was such a sharp fall in road deaths in 2011 and it found that while part of the drop could be attributed to things like improving vehicle technology, higher fuel prices and less motorcycle registrations, it accounted for less than half of the reduction.

“The fact that we’re now looking at a third straight year of significantly fewer people killed on our roads indicates there has been a real shift in the way people are driving.

“The majority of drivers seem to be making safer choices, which is absolutely fantastic. The AA would like to congratulate every driver for playing their part.

“We do have to balance things by saying that even with the recent improvements New Zealand’s road safety record is still not as good as many other countries, but we are definitely making gains and heading in the right direction.

“The AA urges drivers to not get complacent though. One moment’s inattention can be all it takes to turn a trip to tragedy.”


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