Last year New Zealand recorded its second lowest road toll in
50 years, with the deaths of young people significantly
stemmed, police say.
At midnight the provisional road toll stood at 306 - slightly
higher then the previous year's record low of 284 deaths.
The number of fatal crashes also increased, from 259 in 2011
to 265 last year.
National manager of Road Policing Superintendent Carey
Griffiths said overall figures showed a downward trend.
"Of particular note is the reduced fatalities in the 15-24
year-old age group last year, which at 65 was significantly
lower than 82 in 2011," Mr Griffiths said.
"This is the lowest since records were kept on age groups.
"Police and our road safety partners have put a significant
focus on young drivers, with an increased driving age and a
zero blood alcohol limit."
It is encouraging to see a correlating reduction in deaths,
Last night (Mon) the death of a 29-year-old man who was hit
by a taxi whilst walking in Levin took the holiday road toll
The first death for the period, which started at 4pm on
Christmas Eve and will finish at 6am on Thursday, was on
Chinese national Rongmei Wang was killed in a two-car
collision in Hamilton. On Boxing Day, Shane Curtis Tosh, 24,
died when his Honda left the Dacre-Lorneville road north of
Invercargill. Hours later a 58-year old Taumaranui man died
when his car careered down a bank.
And on Friday, a 22-year-old man was killed at Ngapara, near
Oamaru when he lost control of his car, which slammed into a
Mr Griffiths urged people to be extra careful on the road
over the summer.
"In 2011, 19 people lost their lives over the holiday break.
"We still see too many deaths where passengers get into cars
with drunk drivers, particularly in our rural communities.
"If you're going out socialising, look after your mates, make
transport arrangements early and have a designated driver,"
Police figures show the highest holiday road toll was 35 in
1981/82, and the lowest was nine in 2006/07.