Vans and utility vehicles are involved in about 15% of all
fatal crashes in Otago and Southland, despite making up just
12% of the vehicle fleet.
Data from the New Zealand Transport Agency showed there had
been 256 fatal and 1361 serious injury crashes involving vans
and utility vehicles nationwide in the five years to December
Of those, 13 fatal and 91 serious injury crashes occurred in
There had been 73 serious van and utility crashes in
Southland (including eight fatal), 199 in Canterbury (20
fatal), and 34 on the West Coast (six fatal).
Since 2007, there had been 143 fatal crashes in Otago and
Southland, of which 14.7% (21) involved vans and utility
Eleven of those crashes occurred on state highways at or near
Katiki, Gore, Cromwell, Millers Flat, Lawrence, Lumsden, Te
Anau, Winton and Lorneville.
Others occurred at Waitaki, Heriot, Tuapeka Mouth, Makarewa
Junction and Mosgiel, in the Ida Valley and the Maniototo,
and on the Papatowai Highway between Kahuika and Owaka.
New Zealand Automobile Association (AA) Otago chairman Jeff
Donaldson said the association did not believe vans or
utility vehicles were any less safe than other vehicles.
''We haven't noticed a trending increase in van and utility
crashes, or had that suggested to us by any of our members,''