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LTSA sounds December road toll warning

LTSA online
With only 11 days to go until Christmas Day the Land Transport Safety Authority is urging all New Zealanders to make a special effort to avoid tragedy on our roads.

To date the road toll stands at 489, compared with 482 deaths on New Zealand roads at the same time last year. Last year’s total road toll of 502 deaths was the lowest in 34 years.

The Director of Land Transport Safety, Reg Barrett, said today that the 34-year low could still be matched if drivers accepted responsibility for their lives and the lives of those around them.

“Your chances of surviving the summer on the road are greatly increased if you follow three simple rules: do not drive if you have been drinking; do not drive at excessive speed; and always wear your safety belt,” Mr Barrett said.

“If these rules are followed then there is no reason why we can’t match or even better the achievement of last year.”

Mr Barrett said that passengers also had a role to play in reducing the number of deaths on New Zealand roads.

“If passengers are unhappy with driver behaviour then they should say so. If the driver doesn’t modify his or her actions then passengers should refuse to be driven. Don’t be the victim of someone else’s stupidity.”

December is traditionally a bad month for road deaths, with heavier than usual traffic volumes on open roads and more passengers in cars.

“These factors, combined with increased alcohol consumption over Christmas, are a potentially lethal mix and extra care is essential.”

As part of its ongoing campaign against drink driving, the LTSA has just launched a new television advertisement to reinforce the message that “if you drink then drive, you’re a bloody idiot.”

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