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November road toll lowest in 24 years

LTSA online
Last month's road toll was the lowest recorded for November in 24 years. November's toll of 40 equals that recorded in 1975. The lowest November road toll on record is 34, recorded in 1970.

While the low toll for last month is encouraging, the news could have been better. Eight people died on the roads in the last weekend of November, and the overall road toll for 1999 is still slightly higher than last year's - 465 people have died this year, compared to 461 at this time in 1998.

Director of Land Transport Safety Reg Barrett said it was vital that drivers remember the basics of road safety, especially with the busy holiday season approaching.

"December is traditionally the worst month of the year for road fatalities, but it doesn't have to be," he said. "If people can remember to keep their speed down, wear their seatbelts and stay off the roads when they're drinking, Christmas can remain a time for celebration, not mourning."

Mr Barrett also reminded teenage drivers that they are subject to lower alcohol limits than other drivers. Legally, drivers under 20 years of age may not have more than 30 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 150 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

"The legal drinking age has changed, but the laws concerning alcohol limits for drivers under 20 haven't. The low legal limits for these drivers effectively mean that they cannot drink any alcohol before driving," Mr Barrett said.

Alcohol will be a major focus for both road safety advertising and Police enforcement this month, with high visibility drink-driving enforcement planned for all roads before, during and after the holiday season.

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