Dunedin worst for crashes and casualties

Greg Sparrow.
Greg Sparrow.
Dunedin was the worst city in New Zealand for crashes and crash casualties in 2012, and also claimed the unenviable distinction of having had the most cycling fatalities during the year, Ministry of Transport statistics show.

That year two cyclists died in Dunedin - double the number of Wellington and Auckland, the only other metropolitan cities to record a cycling fatality.

Dunedin also recorded five fatalities on city roads that year, equal with Hamilton and behind two other centres, Christchurch (7) and Auckland (41).

In terms of crashes and casualties per 10,000 head of population the city had the highest metropolitan rate at 28 and 37 respectively.

However, city road safety partners, including the Dunedin City Council, police and the New Zealand Transport Agency, said a road safety action plan would help reduce fatal and serious road accidents.

Inspector Greg Sparrow said in the South there was a high level of reporting of crashes.

''In addition, the longer-term trend for the South and Dunedin Policing Area shows a reduction in the number of crashes and the number of people killed and injured on the roads.''

Driver behaviour, weather and road conditions and the local Dunedin environment were all possible factors in a crash, but partner agencies were working to reduce harm on city roads.

Police were targeting high-risk intersections and areas where speed was a risk to safe road use.

''With our road safety partners we have had a recent focus on cyclists and their need for high visibility on the roads. Police are always working to make the roads safer for all road users through education and enforcement.''

DCC acting group manager transportation Mike Harrison said the council was working to reduce harm through actions and intervention programmes ranging from education to infrastructure changes, safe speed limits and safe road use.

Examples of infrastructure improvements included cycleways in South Dunedin, state highway cycling improvements, intersection upgrades, new guardrails and road widening on Otago Peninsula.

The NZTA helped council with funding to improve cycling safety on the local road network, including building a shared cycle and pedestrian pathway on sections of Portobello Rd.

Last year cycle lanes through the city were widened and bollards installed to separate motorists from cyclists, while consultation had just closed on two separated cycle lane proposals for the one-way system through the city. Also more than half the 10km shared walking and cycling path on State Highway 88 between Dunedin and Port Chalmers had been completed.

Meanwhile, a separate cycling path had been provided as part of the four-laning of the SH1 Caversham bypass in Dunedin that opened in October 2012. 

 Crashes and casualties in 2012
   Pop  Injury Crashes
 Fatal Crashes
 Total injuries
 Total deaths
Crashes per 10,000
Casualties per 10,000
 1508  2859  40  3535  41  19  24
 Wellington  202.2  291  2  350  3  15  18
 Christchurch  363.1  838  7  1039  7  23  29
 Dunedin  126.9  353  5  459  5  28  37
 Waitaki  20.9  80  3  110  3  40  54
Central Otago
 18.6  56  3  85  5  32  49
 Qtown-Lakes  29.2  79  1  122  1  27  42
 Clutha  17.4  78  3  123  3  47  73
 Southland  29.8  124  2  205  2  42  70
 Gore  12.3  21  1  24  1  18  20
 Invercargill  52.9  108  4  128  4  21  25



Comrade who walks

GW, you are perceptive. To be frank (cos Frank's dodging the SIS), I should confess I'm a walker, and don't drive. Actually, 3 years back, I walked with a Walker, a frame on wheels, not a person. Driving aside, it was an Aucklander dissing Dunedin that prompted my comment. Er, Bandiera Rosa!

I don’t have any answers

I don't have any answers But I do agree in part with what you say. It is dangerous driving on our st. Yes driving habits do need to change. Better driver education, better roads, parents taking a more active role to ensure kids get the best driver education they can. CCTV cameras on top of the traffic lights in problem areas to catch people, running red lights etc. Drunk drivers should only ever get one chance. I don't think you can change the driving habits of those who have been driving for a long time but I do think with the right input the driving habits of the young in the future can be changed.

I'll admit I sometimes forget to indicate, I sometimes don't look down enough at my speedo and as a result sometimes find I am speeding. Like everyone I make mistakes but by I try to learn from them. SO for a while I pay more attention I don't speed I indicate every time. But there is always the time when I forget.

I would also like to see more police on the corner more often but I fear the police in Dunedin are under staffed.

At the end of the day, im sick of hearing about the "bad Drivers In Dunedin". Bad driving is not just a Dunedin problem. I have news for you we are no better or worse then any one else.

If you want to see really bad driving go over to the west coast and watch the tourist in their camper vans driving along the coast rd from Greymouth to Westport. That will put the scare into you every time following them.



This morning I was appalled

This morning I was appalled to witness five vehicles running red lights. The bus was a stale orange, could it have stopped safely....maybe yes and maybe not but the three following cars there is no excuse. Next intersection is a lone vehicle running through red...we need to stop the injuries through this carelessness. Separating the cycle lanes and engineering road improvements will reduce some of the crashes but the biggest improvement can be made immediately with no consultation, loss of parking and zero dollars. Road users and that's everybody motorised, pedalling and walking....be observant, obey the rules and have consideration....remember that you may be the only perfect perfect driver in the city....doesn't matter who is in the right....crashes hurt....

So we should let people drive badly?

So, Ign, your theory is we should just catch buses and let the Dunedin drivers continue to drive badly and kill themselves or others?

I am afraid I have to drive anywhere up to 700kms a week around Otago for work, as well as getting my kids to school, etc, so have no choice other than to drive - or believe me, here I wouldn't!

Again you are misjudging the driving in Auckland compared to here.  As we both seem to agree - there are bad drivers everywhere, but, in Dunedin you see them literally within seconds of getting on the road, where as in Auckland you may go a day before you do.  That, to me anyway, is a major concern.  Hand in hand with that is in Auckland you will see a Police Patrol at least every five minutes of driving (on average), here you can go days without seeing one, despite reportedly the Police here being better resourced than any other region in NZ.

So again I ask, what will change to lower the injuries and deaths caused by the horrendous drivers in Dunedin, or do we all just say "Oh well", shrug our shoulders, and hope it isn't a family member of ours who is injured or killed next.  

Not much difference really is there?

Between Dunedin drivers and those in Auckland is there really going by both links?. The driving in Auckland is just as bad as in Dunedin. And I would suspect anywhere you go in NZ you would find problems with the driving. It does not matter where a person resides they will always find something to complain about, myself included.

If you are not happy with the driving you see catch a bus and stay off the roads, it will lower your stress levels which will increase your live span and help save the environment at the same time.

You are absolutely right DPet

I agree with most of what you say 'DPet', in Auckland the average Dunedin driver just would not be tolerated! 

Some of the quite unique and rather strange things long term Dunedin drivers do are:

1) Slow down for green lights, and speed up for orange/red! (Though yes, red light running is certainly a problem around all of NZ!)

2) Pedestrian crossings mean almost nothing to them.

3) Centre lines also mean almost nothing, even on straight roads in the city you often see them cross the line!  Keep in mind though, a commenter on here once told me that "That's because expert drivers cross the centre line" - no, I kid you not.

4) You also very rarely see a Police Patrol - almost like they have either given up with trying to teach the drivers here the road rules, or they just don't care.

By the way 'Ign', of course there are some bad drivers on Auckland roads - as there are everywhere, but the thing is in Dunedin about 90% of the resident drivers are bad, compared to maybe 10% in Auckland.  Also, yes you are reading the Stats wrong - which is why the headline is Dunedin has the worst drivers (per capita).

Albert Square, see the problem with you and others is - you know no different, so you think your driving and that of your 'Dunedin Comrades', is fine. Believe me, it isn't.

My qualification in being able to say that?  31 years of a huge amount of driving, never had an accident, never had a ticket. I also have an 'advanced drivers certificate' from when I was an Ambulance Officer.


Dunedin Drivers

See here

Hell freezes over

I would like to know at what time of the year these fatalities occured because if it was mostly at winter time then no amount of increase in jackboots is going to stop water freezing. I see Clutha is almost double us in casualties and Invercargill more than double us per capita in fatalities, are we supposed to increase police over the whole southern country just at winter time only because of what some would say is collateral damage? I think not.

Big city rager

Oh really? My memory of Auckland driving, albeit 20 years ago, is of Road Rage, and the other drivers were just as bad. Dunedin drivers may dither and stare at old beatniks and blondes, but they don't use vehicles as weapons, deliberating driving at or over people several times to make sure.

Take a look

Dashcam video from Auckland drivers

Cops on bikes?

surely the answer is to do what many counties do - put bobbies on bikes? Or horses like Australia? Then they would get first-hand experience of the traffic problems?

Not a surprise, small town thinking

Yes Dunedin drivers are pathetic.  They often don't know the road rules or how be considerate drivers. They have fallen (like sheep - you are what you eat after all ) for our simplistic national propaganda that 1. Speed = Death and 2. Always give way, intersections are so scary! But they have failed to actually become skilled drivers who know the rules and pay attention (ohh that would be too difficult! and that sounds a little bit racist) At intersections their incompetant brains appear to give them a powerful urge to give way to anyone and everyone and will wait, even when there is lots of room, for someone to come along they can give way to. 

And then when they move foward they very gingerly accelerate up to 42 kmh or perhaps even 45 km/h if they're feeling naughty. They also don't know what they are doing at roundabouts or when to indicate. We have a theory that Dunners is just small enough for the dummies to drive badly for years but get away with it, because in Auckland our idiot drivers would be bullied and humiliated off the roads in a week (great). I drove every day for one month in Auckland and it was paradise compared to Dunedin.

Dunedin cars

I have noticed that Dunedin cars to not possess any indicators as I hardly ever see them in action, and this includes taxis too. Maybe they are taken out before they arrive in Dunedin?


Totally agree

GW_Scam you and I disagree on something but this is one thing you and  totally agree on , I would also like to add that not only should there be more regular patrols but there should be more foot patrols as well, it's easy to act normal when up to something dodgy for the few seconds while a uninterested patrol car drives past , a lot harder when they are actually walking towards you. It would also give the public an increased chance to interact with the police and show a more caring, human side of them, which would be a start to reversing the slide in public confidence, opinion and respect that has occured in the last decade or so. 

If the foot patrol sees something that requires a motorised patrol they could be issued with that new fangled invention called .... what was it again .... oh that's right a radio or cell phone, and with the increased presence on our local roads a nearby patrol can be dispatched.

They will be able to observe traffic offences first hand and note down the licence plates of vechicals that are misbehaving , vechicles will be more well behaved at interections and more likely to obey rules like right of ways, stop lights , pedestrians , etc.

All it needs is two things and increased presence and a willingness to enforce the law and people safety.

Central govt has to do its part reqarding funding and recognise the vast rural area that our police have to cover and its diluting effects on the numbers and equipment available to achieve this as well.

when was the last time

When was the last time you spent any real length of time in Auckland walking or driving. I think you are remembering that place with rose tinted glasses. I disagree that you need to be driving the rds to see what really happening. Walk and take the time to look around and be objective. Don't look at it as a driver, look at it from someone who stands and watches driving.
I didn't say that drivers in Dunedin are any worse or better then anywhere else. What I was implying is that no matter where you go you will find bad drivers.

The main difference from my point of view is the rds are much better else where then they are here in Dunedin, And yes I have and do drive as well as walk when I am in Auckland, Wellington or elsewhere. And to be honest I don’t find much difference in driving styles here in Dunedin to that of Auckland we are 4th from the wrong end going by above so we are not the worse drivers in NZ in 2012 and the 5th worse in 2013 so from what I can see we are getting better not worse per cap Auckland on the other hand is getting worse not better per cap, but Ii could be looking at it the wrong way. cheers

Auckland V Dunedin rrivers, no contest

IGN, you need to actually drive on Auckland's roads, for say thirty years like I have, to come to the conclusion - there, occassionally you see a bad driver.  In Dunedin, occasionally you see a good driver.

I am not being sarcastic, that's really is how it is.

To be fair, it is not just my opinion.  Everyone I alk to who comes here from another city, or overseas says the same thing (often one of their first comments) "What is up with the terrible drivers!"  Come on, not everyone can be imagining it, and the statistics do not lie I am afraid.

Own up Dunedin Drivers - you are terrible at driving, and you need to start following the law before you too, kill or injure someone, or yourself!  

roads not drivers the problem I think

Having spent 4 ¼ weeks in Auckland late last year September through November , I fail to see why people say Dunedin drivers are the worse in NZ. I walk most places i go (not due to any enviro reason, simply because I like to walk). While in Auckland I lost count of the number of times I was nearly hit by speeding cars. My wife and I sat outside the Auckland Hospital for an hour from 5 30 to 6 30pm. And watched the show. In that time a large number of cars blocked side roads, used the bus lane to get to the head of the line, pulled out of side roads and sat in the middle of the road because they couldn't get into the lane they wanted too. I couldn't tell you how many near misses we saw as there was too many to count. Push bikes running red lights and also using the bus lane and foot path to get to where they wanted to be. Every time someone stopped to let people walk across the road someone would sound their horn .

The fact that most roads in Auckland are better maintained, are wider, and have more lanes properly helps to keep their accident rates down. When i compare Auckland drivers with Dunedin Drivers I see much less of the behaviours mentioned above. Yes Dunedin Drivers can be just as bad. But I think the main reason for higher rates in Dunedin is due to the poor condition and the narrow roads we have to put up with down here not the behaviour of our drivers.

Excuses, excuses, no wonder nothing changes

I am so sick of seeing the 'excuses' from Police and others that 'we have a higher reporting rate'.  Firstly, how do you know that?  Secondly, it doesn't take more than literally two minutes on Dunedin roads to see how horrendous the standard of driving is, to see what the problem is.

What really makes me see red at the moment is just a few minutes ago, I had a stereotypical 'Dunedin driver' beeping at me, and abusing me because I dared to give way to someone crossing at a Green Man signal - as per the law!  Of course the usual standard in Dunedin is to drive around pedetrians, between them, or barely miss pedestrians as they cross!  No surprise to then see this same driver weave lane to lane on the southern one way, no indicators, seeming not to care whether there were other vehicles or not, again fairly typical of many Dunedin drivers.

When will the Police here take the shocking statistics seriously?  What does it take to actually get them out there, every day, monitoring intersections, taking a zero tolerance approach - which is the only thing that will change driving habbits.  This approach needs to be long term, not just one intersection every six weeks or so!

I have personally complianed to Police on three occassions about Portsmouth Drive drivers, where in around 70% to 80% never indicate lane changes.  I am still to see, after seven years of living here, even one traffic patrol actually taking action on that road, unbelievable!

In fact, my wife and I have both commented we now hate having to drive on Dunedin's roads, despite having to numerous times each day for work, school, etc, as we literally fear for our lives and those of our children due to the behaviour of other drivers, and lack of any real Police action.

For goodness sake, do something! 

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