Road toll double last year despite Police crackdown and perfect weather conditions

It hasn’t really rained in most of the country for damn near two weeks.

The weather forecasters got it wrong over New Year, and basically the roads have been dry for the whole holiday period.

The police have focussed on speeding, so much so that the average holiday speed on the open road is adding hours to trips.

And yet the road toll is now double what it was last year and will likely be more than that with one day left.

The holiday road toll now stands at 14 – double last year’s – with the latest fatality occurring after a car hit a tree in Canterbury last night, killing its male driver.

The Toyota saloon ran off on Lake Road at Leeston, near Lake Ellesmere, and struck a tree at around 11.20pm. The driver, who is expected to be named later today, was found dead at the scene, police said.

With many holiday-makers preparing to head home, the nation’s road policing chief, Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff, issued a plea for drivers to be vigilant. “Families have enjoyed time away and now they should give themselves plenty of time to reach their destination,” he said.

They’ll need plenty of time because the cops have parked themselves at the end of every passing lane, frightened drivers so much they drive between 80-95km/h…and all for nothing.

Last year’s Christmas-New Year road toll was seven, from a total of 193 reported injury crashes. But the official holiday period was three days shorter than this year’s – which ends at 6am on Monday.

Excuses already…

Yesterday, police dealt with holiday road fatality No 13 – a male passenger killed in a three-car crash in Hamilton.

The crash happened at the Dinsdale roundabout in Hamilton shortly after 2pm.

Two people, including a female driver, were critically injured. They and two others were taken to Waikato Hospital.

Senior Sergeant Kevin Anderson, of the Waikato road policing group, said the accident was a tragedy and it was not yet clear how it occurred.

A round about eh? 3 cars? Bet speed wasn’t a factor…it was a roundabout…in brad daylight…on a fine day, at 2pm.

Mr Cliff urged holiday-makers returning home this weekend to remember that tired drivers are unsafe drivers.

“Families have enjoyed time away and now they should give themselves plenty of time to reach their destination. Keep your focus on the road, and factor in some all important rest stops for everyone in your care.”

“High-risk and dangerous overtaking is not worth the lives of you the driver, any of your passengers or any other road user.”

Well you can’t overtake can you…if slow coach holding up 50 cars is doing 95km/h, in order to safely overtake him you risk going over 100km/h into the dread zone where crashes happen of 101km/k…so everyone just gets stuck…and coupled with the fact that the cops are likely sitting at the end of each overtaking lane preventing even those being used then people return best get used to a long slow ride home courtesy of police action.

You’d have to say the Police campaign this year was a big fat fail, and caused them the loss of a great deal of goodwill.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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