NZTA thanks drivers for fatality-free long weekend


The NZ Transport Agency is thanking New Zealand drivers for a holiday weekend free of deaths on our roads.

“It’s a fantastic result, and New Zealand drivers have shown that a fatality-free holiday on the roads is possible,” said NZTA spokesperson Andy Knackstedt.

Mr Knackstedt said the zero road toll for the Queen’s Birthday weekend continues an encouraging downward trend for 2011, with road deaths down 35% compared to the same time last year (from 186 to 121).

“Fatalities and serious injuries from road crashes don’t have to be an accepted part of driving on New Zealand roads, during long weekends or any other time. Bringing our road toll down is a shared responsibility and everyone has a part to play, from those who build and design the roads to those who use them. The NZTA, Police and others are working hard to create a safer environment, and drivers deserve credit for doing their part by taking responsibility for their own actions and driving to the conditions.”

The NZTA is working together with Police, ACC, the Ministry of Transport, the AA and others to provide a   safe road system in New Zealand which is increasingly free of death and serious injury. This approach recognises that people make mistakes, that some crashes are inevitable, and that those who build and design the roads must share responsibility with those who use them for reducing the likelihood of death or serious injury from road crashes. The safe system includes safe roads and roadsides, safe vehicles, safe speeds and safe drivers – for more go to link)

“Creating a safe system means designing forgiving roads and roadsides, driving at speeds where collisions are survivable, encouraging the purchase of safer vehicles and ensuring that everybody on the road has the skills and the knowledge needed to travel safely,” Mr Knackstedt said.

Mr Knackstedt said while higher fuel prices could reduce road travel and influence driver behaviour, particularly by encouraging safer travel speeds (which are also more fuel efficient), the 35% decline in road deaths this year was well in excess of the roughly two percent decline in traffic volumes recorded on state highways.