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New Zealanders support road safety messages

New Zealanders support road safety messages

Most New Zealanders agree that speed and alcohol are major causes of road crashes and support police efforts to enforce road safety laws, according to the latest Public Attitudes to Road Safety survey released by the Ministry of Transport.

Most New Zealanders agree that speed and alcohol are major causes of road crashes and support police efforts to enforce road safety laws, according to the latest Public Attitudes to Road Safety survey released by the Ministry of Transport, Harry Duynhoven, Transport Safety Minister, announced today.

The annual survey focuses on attitudes about alcohol, speed, safety belts and other general road safety issues, and includes, for the first time, a question on fatigue.

"We all know that drink-driving and speed are major road safety problems and this survey reinforces it. While it is good news that the majority of New Zealanders say speeding is dangerous, it is very frustrating that eight per cent still think drink-driving is not risky," said Harry Duynhoven.

The survey shows strong public support for alcohol, speed and seatbelt enforcement. Seventy-five per cent of New Zealanders say that compulsory breath testing and speed enforcement help lower the road toll, while 90 per cent support seatbelt enforcement.

"Last month, 28,000 vehicles were stopped in a nationwide Friday night operation targeting drunk and drugged drivers. Less than one percent of drivers were over the limit, which indicates that the majority of people understand the law and comply with it.

"It is the minority of drivers, that still do not get the message that speed and alcohol are a lethal combination, that are putting lives at risk," said Mr Duynhoven today.

More New Zealanders (41 per cent) are calling for tougher penalties for people who break road safety laws, compared with 36 per cent last year. Most people agree that automatic loss of licence is fair punishment for speeding at 140km/h on the open road.

Recognition that fatigue can be a factor in road crashes featured in this year's survey with nearly all New Zealanders agreeing that driving when tired increases the chances of having an accident.

The 2007 survey also found the majority of New Zealanders (61 per cent) agree that the use of speed cameras helps lower the road toll and a similar number believe that speed cameras are operated fairly.

Full details of the survey can be found at: www.transport.govt.nz/2007-survey-2/

ENDS

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