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Record low road toll for September

1 October 2001

Record low road toll for September

The provisional national road toll for September stands at 28 – the lowest figure recorded for the month since current records began in 1965, the Land Transport Safety Authority announced today.

The previous low toll for September was 29, recorded in 1996. Forty-three people died from road crashes in September last year.

Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright said while it was encouraging to see another record low recorded, there were still far too many people dying needlessly on our roads.

"Any number of road deaths is too high, and the real tragedy is that so many of these deaths are avoidable. Police reports indicate that speed or alcohol contributed to 13 of the fatalities in September. That's nearly half the monthly toll.

"The same reports tell us that nine of the 22 vehicle occupants killed weren't wearing safety belts, and the officers attending the crashes say at least four of those nine people would be with us today if they had just buckled up."

The year-to-date road toll for 2001 now stands at 328, compared to 345 at this time last year and 384 in 1999.

Last year’s annual road toll of 462 was the lowest annual toll since 1964. Mr Wright said the efforts of police, LTSA and others were focussed squarely on bringing that down further this year.

"It's possible but it won't be easy, especially heading towards the end of the year. The worst thing any driver can do now is to feel complacent about the road toll coming down. New Zealand roads are unforgiving, and if we're going to bring the toll down further it will require each and every driver's common sense and concentration."

ENDS

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