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Police urge caution as road toll reaches 150

Police are pleading with drivers to take more care after the road toll reached 150 deaths so far in 2019.

At this time last year the number of deaths on New Zealand roads was 137.

Superintendent Steve Greally, National Road Policing Manager, says when people are driving they must take on board the responsibility that goes with it.

“It is extremely disappointing that the road toll has surpassed the number of deaths than this time last year.

“Drivers must be responsible by giving the roads their full attention, driving to the conditions, not driving drunk, drugged, or fatigued and ensuring the use of seatbelts.

“The reality is that seatbelts save lives, being properly restrained reduces your chance of death or serious injury in a crash by 60 percent in the front seat and 44 percent in the back seat.

“Speed is always a crucial factor in determining the severity of a crash and injuries to the people involved.

The simple and inescapable truth is that less speed means less harm in a crash.”

NZ Transport Agency General Manager of Safety, Health and Environment Greg Lazzaro, says every death and serious injury has far-reaching consequences.

“It is a terrible fact that on average seven people die and more than 50 are reported seriously injured every week on New Zealand’s roads.

Every one of these deaths and serious injuries has a devastating and ongoing impact on our families and our communities.

On top of these tragic human costs, these crashes also impose a social cost on New Zealand of $84 million per week, or nearly $4.7 billion a year.

“We encourage drivers to buckle up, drive sober and keep their speeds down, but we also recognise that human beings are fallible.

We all make mistakes, but simple mistakes should not result in death or serious injury.

That’s why we’re working to deliver safety improvements through measures like installation of side and median safety barriers, rumble strips, shoulder widening, better signage, level crossings and speed management.”

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