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Thread: Road deaths lowest for decades

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    Default Road deaths lowest for decades

    A step in the right direction.

    Road deaths lowest for decades
    4:00AM Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

    The weekend passed with no fatal road crashes as New Zealand looks set to record the lowest road toll in decades.

    2006 was the first time in recent years the toll dipped beneath 400, to 391.

    In the year to date, there have been 303 road deaths - 39 fewer than at the same time in 2006 and 53 less than 2007.

    Figures rose for motorcyclists with 38 deaths so far versus 26 last year, but this figure was almost exactly reversed for pedestrian casualties, which dropped from 39 to 26.

    Men accounted for more than two-thirds of the deaths, and those aged 25 to 39 were the most likely to die on the roads. On three weekends this year, no fatal accidents were reported, but on two occasions in February eight people lost their lives in the period between Friday evening and Monday morning.

    Ministry of Transport spokesman David Crawford said the numbers were a lot lower than in previous years but still higher than the ministry's target.

    The current road safety strategy aimed for fewer than 300 deaths by 2010.

    Mr Crawford said the road toll had been steadily dropping since the 1990s, although there was a spike last year.

    "The reason it's been tracking down has been because of education campaigns, road engineering, safer vehicles, enforcement. All of those things are starting to take effect."

    He said several countries had reported dramatic drop-offs this year and the theory was that motorists were feeling the financial pinch and adjusting their driving habits.

    "We believe the slowing economic activity combined with higher fuel prices means people are either driving less or driving slower."

    - NZPA

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    selchie's Avatar
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    Road engineering & education must have helped. At least it helped my feeling of safety on this last drive up to the Northland and some other roads. The road was wider, with fewer drivers trying to take their half out of the middle. I also saw more speed limits & cautions, and people obeying them. There's hope yet.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
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