NZ holiday road toll has tripled since 2012

By Heta Gardiner

The holiday road toll is now significantly higher than the year before. The total deaths is now at 18, already a third higher than the year before with two days left. So why is the police message to slow down not resonating with drivers?

Things going from bad to worse.

Assistant Commissioner David Cliff says, “We've had a dreadful amount of people killed on the road. Another death from a bus crash near Gisborne.”

In 2012, there were only six deaths on the roads during the holiday period. But numbers haven't been that low since, and this year's road toll is three times that amount. 

The police say that the same issues are occurring year after year.

“What kills people in every crash is the impact speed how hard we hit. So slowing down by a few km means is something happens in front of you, you're more likely to be able to stop and if a crash, unfortunately, does occur you're less likely to be seriously injured.”

A major concern is that the wider figures aren't decreasing.

“Since 2013 when we had that record low of 253, now well over 320 killed. So those long-term trends we saw with reducing death rates has started to reverse and go up.”

Assistant Commissioner David Cliff says that deaths are only part of the issue.

“The deaths, however, terrible as they may be they're only part of the picture. There are numerous people in the countries hospital with serious injuries with critical injuries.”

Three people have already died so far this year.

The holiday road toll ends tomorrow at 6 am (Wednesday 4 January 2017).