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New Zealand's shameful road toll and more daily news

Long weekends always mean a spate of road deaths. I pray that this weekend there are few. Recently the New Zealand Herald published this article on the issue of people sitting in the right hand lane on multiple lane highways or passing lanes preventing speeding cars from overtaking. Who is right? New Zealand's Automobile Association (AA) says that this is one of the most-often asked questions. But buried inside the report are these shocking statistics, of great relevance to those of us that care about life and death, and New Zealand's shockingly high rate of road traffic accidents:

New Zealand averaged just under eight road deaths per billion km - worse than more than 15 European countries and the US. In comparison, Australia averaged just over four road deaths per billion kilometres. Denmark, a similar-sized country to New Zealand, registered around three road deaths per billion vehicle kilometres travelled.

If we managed to get down to the level of Australia? What would that do?

The Auckland Road Safety Business Improvement Review 2021 found that if New Zealand's road safety conditions matched the state of Victoria in Australia - which has a population of around six million - approximately 124 fewer New Zealanders would have died on our roads in each of the last three years.

That's a lot of people who we could save and it isn't all about lower speeds either - after all, several European countries have better road safety than us and permit higher speeds.


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