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Smith continues to manipulate ACC numbers

17 November 2009
Media Statement

Smith continues to manipulate ACC numbers

ACC Minister Nick Smith has once again been caught out trying to mislead the public with his dodgy use of figures – this time around motorcycle crashes, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson David Parker.

“Nick Smith today claimed there has been a significant increase in motorcycle accident fatalities over the past decade.

“Yet if you compare the number of fatalities which include motorcycle pillion passengers as well as motorcyclists themselves, there were four fewer fatalities last year than there were in 1998, when there were 54.

“In addition, the average number of fatalities for motorcyclists each year over the last decade was 34 – which compares with an average of 90 motorcyclist fatalities each year in the preceding decade,” David Parker says.

“Nick Smith conceded in Parliament today, there has also been a 60 per cent rise in the number of bikes on the road, which further skews his logic. This is because more people are using motorcycles because of higher petrol prices.

“As the figures supplied to me by his office show, the number of fatalities per 10,000 motorcycles on the road has significantly declined in recent years. In 1998 there were 8.9 fatalities per 10,000 bikes, while in 2008 there were 5.2 fatalities per 10,000 bikes – a significant reduction,” David Parker says.

“The longer term reduction is even better. In 1988 there were 14.1 fatalities per 10,000 bikes on the road.

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“These figures aren’t something to be happy about – any fatality is one fatality too many and we do need to bring down the number of motorcycle crashes. But slapping ridiculously high levies on motorcyclists is not the answer.

“Nick Smith’s claim in Parliament today that Labour had done no injury prevention work amongst motorcyclists was simply another untruth.

“Just last year the Labour Government signed off on a series of new initiatives as part of the ‘Road Safety to 2010 Strategy’.

“They included restrictions on the use of powerful motorcycles by novice riders, changes to the Graduated Driver Licensing System to encourage riders to take up more motorcycle-specific training and the introduction of safer motorcycling practices such as improving the visibility of motorcycle and moped riders to other road users.”

ENDS

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