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Don't Add Crosses To The Roadside This Easter

27 March 2002
Don't Add Crosses To The Roadside This Easter - LTSA

The Land Transport Safety Authority is pleading with drivers to use common sense and avoid tragic scenes on the road this Easter weekend.

Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright said hundreds of fatal crashes over the past 12 months meant the Easter holiday would not be a happy time for many New Zealanders this year.

"Nearly 450 people have died on our roads since we last celebrated Easter. That's 450 people gone forever who were with us at this time last year. All of those people are missed by grieving friends and families - they will find it very hard to celebrate anything this weekend."

Mr Wright said more than 100 people had died on New Zealand roads already in 2002, with speed, alcohol and driver fatigue all big contributors to the toll.

"In less than three months 106 people have lost their lives in road crashes - that's more than one person killed for every day of the year. It's a terrible waste and it should serve as a stark reminder to us all - every time we get behind the wheel, lives are at stake."

Mr Wright said that with extra traffic on the open road over the holiday period drivers had to allow extra time for their journeys.

“The roads are going to busy this weekend. If you're planning on a long trip, give yourself plenty of time so you don't feel the need to drive at dangerous speeds or to overtake when it isn’t safe.


Easter two of three

"Take plenty of breaks to stretch the legs or grab a bite to eat. Share the driving if you can, and if you're feeling tired pull off in a safe place and have a rest. There's nothing heroic about driving for hours on end to get to your destination. Fatigue is a killer and driving when you're tired is as dangerous as it is irresponsible. We have enough white crosses lining our roads as it is - let's not add any more this weekend."

Four people died and 160 were injured in crashes on our roads over the Easter weekend last year. All of the fatal crashes and around half of the injury crashes last Easter happened on the open road.

Easter Weekend - Historical Crash Data

Year Deaths Injuries
1980 15 213
1981 5 248
1982 13 240
1983 11 285
1984 15 258
1985 9 291
1986 15 254
1987 19 254
1988 12 283
1989 16 214
1990 17 237
1991 12 238
1992 12 185
1993 11 165
1994 10 228
1995 9 192
1996 7 229
1997 6 218
1998 3 176
1999 7 147
2000 6 134
2001 4 160

Easter three of three

Editors please note:

The official Easter holiday period for 2002 will start at 1600 hours Thursday 28 March and end at 0600 hours Tuesday 2 April.

The worst Easter period on record was in 1971 when 21 people were killed. The lowest Easter road toll was in 1998 when three people were killed.


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