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Record low road toll for October

LTSA online
The 24 fatalities on New Zealand roads over the past month is the lowest toll for any month since records began in 1965, the Land Transport Safety Authority announced today.

However the Director of Land Transport Safety Reg Barrett said the 24 deaths still represented a level of tragedy and waste of life that the country could not afford.

“There is no room for complacency. November and December are traditionally bad months on our roads and motorists need to show that this better result is not an aberration,” Mr Barrett said.

“If the same sort of safety level achieved in October was replicated in all other months of the year then we would be looking at an annual road toll of under 300. Unfortunately that is not the case. We are looking at a road toll of around 480 for the year and that shows there is still a lot of work still to do.”

Mr Barrett said the long-term downward trend in the number of crashes on our roads was still encouraging. Motorists deserved credit for heeding key road safety messages with figures to the end of 1999 indicating the continued success of the targeted advertising and enforcement campaign against drink driving.

“The figures are also a vindication of the work done at different levels by many dedicated people over the past decade. There has been a strong focus right from community level through to research, policy and planning to improve levels of safety on our roads. Unfortunately that is not often recognised.”

Mr Barrett also noted recent initiatives including the boost in community funding announced in the budget, along with more resources being directed at the enforcement of open road speed limits.

“The October result is timely, with the National Road Safety Committee currently touring the country seeking public input into a 10-year strategy for making further improvements.

“We believe that by 2010 New Zealand can match current world best practice in terms of safety on our roads. The strategy suggests that this can be achieved by either investing more heavily in our roading network, strengthening enforcement measures, or by adopting some mix of the various options. Feedback from the public will be crucial to setting the direction of our road safety strategy for the next decade.”

Details of the proposed Road Safety Strategy 2010 can be viewed on the LTSA’s website: www.ltsa.govt.nz. Submissions on the proposed strategy close on 22 December.

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