Otago second lowest in traffic convictions

New figures released by Justice Minister Andrew Little show the north Auckland region bears the highest number of traffic offences for all of New Zealand while Otago has the second lowest proportion.

The data was released following a request by National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, and looks at the crime rate, broken down by region, in regards to traffic convictions in 2016 and 2017.

The figures show the north Auckland justice service area accounted for the highest proportion of traffic offence convictions in 2016 and 2017, with 18% of all convictions.

This was followed by South Auckland with 13%, and Canterbury which had 11% in 2016 and 9% in 2017.

Wellington was found to have the lowest proportion of traffic offence convictions over the two years, with only 2%, despite being the second largest city in New Zealand. This was followed closely by Otago which had 3%.

Each region is dictated by the justice service area, or court region, for which the crime was trialled.

The traffic offences in the data include offences which fall within the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (Anzsoc) groupings of driving causing death, dangerous and negligent operation of a vehicle, and traffic and vehicle regulatory offences.

Individuals are counted once per year for their most serious traffic offence.

The information also shows there were 33,466 people convicted of traffic offences in 2017, very slightly up from the 33,357 in 2016.

Bakshi, National's associate justice spokesperson, said it was not surprising the highest number of people convicted of traffic offences were in parts of the country with the highest number of people driving.

"In saying that, in areas where there are more cars on the road, it becomes even more important that our roads are safe and that people drive responsibly.

"That's why it's important to keep investing into major roading projects, such as four-laning busy highways and roads and improving the links between our cities and regions.

"It's very disappointing that projects National had in the pipeline, including in Auckland and in Canterbury, have been placed under threat by the new Government."

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