The ever dropping road toll

January 1st, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The 2013 road toll is 254 dead, an 18% drop on 2012. This is the 2nd largest percentage drop since 1974. The largest was in 2011 when it dropped 24%.

roadtoll

As you can see the road toll is at a 60 year low. It peaked in 1973 at 843 and then dropped to 554 in 1979. After that it increased again to 795 in 1987. Since then it has generally been declining.

roadtollrate

 

When you measure it per 10,000 vehicles, the trend is stark.

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The 2012 road toll

January 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Last year New Zealand recorded its second lowest road toll in 50 years, with the deaths of young people significantly stemmed, police say.

At midnight, the provisional road toll stood at 306 – slightly higher than the previous year’s record low of 284 deaths.

While disappointing to go up, the 2011 figure was the lowest figure ever, being a drop of 100 on the year before. The last six years have been:

  • 2007 – 421
  • 2008 – 366
  • 2009 – 384
  • 2010 – 375
  • 2011 – 284
  • 2012 – 306
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Transport policies for Labour

July 27th, 2010 at 5:24 pm by David Farrar

I blogged yesterday on how Labour had announced:

“Labour would support the lowering of the alcohol limit, because anything that will save lives on our roads is worth doing,” says Ms Fenton.

Readers helpfully suggested a number of policies for Labour, which meet their criteria of saving lives on the road, regardless of the impact it has on motorists. Some of them include:

  • All cars to be fitted with 1-metre thick foam rubber bumpers.
  • All cars to have a man with a flag and loudhailer walking in front of them to alert pedestrians of the imminent appearance of a motor vehicle.
  • Abolish cars, everyone to travel by moonhopper.
  • All vehicles to be painted violent pink for improved visibility.
  • Data loggers for every vehicle with instant tolls and fines, combined with implants on people to catch the cyclists and skateboarders on any decent hill
  • Abolish roads
  • A “Working for Families Ferrari tax credit”
  • Mandatory roller derby style body armour for all children
  • Allow only one person per car so there is no distracting chatter
  • A ban on Prime Ministerial motorcades
  • Stop running trains on any tracks which cross roads by means of level-crossings
  • Make all roads one way.

All of these excellent proposals will clearly significantly reduce the road toll, and hence are “worth doing”. I look forward to seeing them in Labour’s 2011 manifesto.

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Labour’s balanced transport policy

July 26th, 2010 at 8:18 pm by David Farrar

Labour’s Darien Fenton has said:

“Labour would support the lowering of the alcohol limit, because anything that will save lives on our roads is worth doing,” says Ms Fenton.

So we know what to look forward to if Labour get elected. Labour have said they will support anything that will save lives. Therefore I expect we will see:

  • A maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr. This will save hundreds of lives.
  • All cars to be fitted with technology which restricts speed to 30 km/hr
  • A doubling of petrol tax as pushing poor people off the roads will mean less traffic crashes.
  • A zero blood alcohol limit for all motorists
  • Carless Days, like under Muldoon, This should reduce the road toll by one seventh.
  • An offence to eat or drink while driving, as this can cause distractions
  • An offence to change the radio station while driving

What other policies can you think of for Labour, with their declaration that anything that will save lives on our roads is worth doing?

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Road and water deaths down

January 1st, 2009 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

The 2008 road toll was 359, a 52 year low. The previous low in 1956 was at a time when there were one fifth the number of cars.

The Herald speculates increased fuel prices may have been a factor. They probably had some effect, but wouldn’t explain by itself the big dip from last year. However the best figure for international comparisons is the road toll per 10 million kms of road travel, so it will be interesting to see that.

Meanwhile the Dom Post reports:

The death of a man in north Canterbury’s Hurunui River yesterday took the year’s drowning toll to 96. …

Last year was only the second year since records began in 1980 that the national drowning total has stayed under 100. Dropping from 181 a year in the 1980s, the annual toll over the past decade has been around 119, getting down to 91 in 2006.

But still some way to go:

New Zealand had an “awful” international record for drowning deaths, Water Safety New Zealand general manager Matt Claridge said.

It sat third in the world after Brazil and Finland, with twice as many deaths as Australia and triple Britain’s toll.

And this may not help:

He repeated a warning yesterday that there was a lot worse to come. Last month he said that, because compulsory swimming lessons at schools were phased out in the 1990s, annual drownings were expected to get up to 180 again by 2030.

“The prospects for the future are worrying. If people don’t have the skills or make the right decisions, we’ll see those numbers go back up.”

Pupils were taught to swim in school pools in the 1960s and 1970s, but about 239 pools had closed between 2002 and 2005.

I didn’t realise swimming was no longer part of primary school. A pity.

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