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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

The number of deaths on New Zealand roads in 2020 was down on 2019, but it’s still too many, says the National Road Policing Manager.

Provisional figures from the Ministry of Transport show there were 320 deaths in 2020, down 32 on the 2019 figure of 352.

But while figures were down year on year, the current number of deaths for the Christmas and New Year holiday period is more than double last year’s.

Last year four people lost their lives during the period, compared to nine so far this year. The holiday period ends at 6am on January 5.

National Road Policing Manager Acting Superintendent Gini Welch says any life lost on our roads is too many.

“That’s 320 people whose families were not able to see in the New Year with them. We can do better,” she says.

“There is nothing new in the circumstances of these crash deaths. Many have inattention, speed, and alcohol as contributing factors.

“It’s incredibly sad, and also frustrating. Police work hard every day to help prevent death and serious injury on our roads, but we can’t do it alone,” Acting Superintendent Welch says.

“We need everyone in New Zealand to make a simple New Year’s Resolution – help prevent further fatalities on our roads.

“You can do that by putting away your phone, ensuring you drive free from alcohol, drugs and fatigue, wear your seatbelt, and drive to the conditions within speed limits.”

Police will be out and about on our roads for not only the remainder of the holiday period, but all throughout 2021, helping ensure motorists keep themselves and others safe.


Note to media: Acting Superintendent Welch will be available for phone interviews only between 11am and 1pm today. Please contact the Media Centre to register your interest.