How much of the Current Road Toll is Driver Stupidity?

by Gavin

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Queen’s Birthday weekend road toll. Comparisons being made with previous years, how terrible it is etc. But, without context this data and constant moaning by media, police et al is meaningless. I would like to know what the breakdown of road deaths are by:

  • Drunk drivers killed in crashes
  • Passengers killed in cars driven by drunk drivers
  • Innocent people killed by drunk drivers
  • Crashes involving stolen vehicles
  • Passengers killed in crashes involving stolen vehicles
  • Innocent people killed in crashes involving stolen vehicles
  • Crashes involving vehicles running from the police
  • Passengers killed in vehicles running from the police
  • Innocent people killed by vehicles running from the police
  • Unlicensed / suspended drivers killed in crashes
  • Passengers killed in cars driven by unlicensed / suspended drivers
  • Innocent people killed by unlicensed / suspended drivers
  • Drivers killed in crashes with unsafe vehicles (eg lowered cars riding on springs)
  • Passengers killed in crashes with unsafe vehicles (eg lowered cars riding on springs)
  • Innocent people killed in crashes with unsafe vehicles (eg lowered cars riding on springs)
  • Drivers killed in crashes with excessive speed (eg failing to take a 100k corner)
  • Passengers killed in crashes with excessive speed (eg failing to take a 100k corner)
  • Innocent people killed crashes with excessive speed (eg failing to take a 100k corner)

The list could go on, but these are very avoidable by people who care not for the consequences of their actions and should be quantified and targeted.

I understand there is a 100% survival rate for people who stop when requested to by the police, thus, easily avoiding the unnecessary deaths of runaways, or their passengers and innocent people, in stolen cars.

The stupidity of this act astounds me that people can steal an unfamiliar car and try to outrun the police who are trained in chase techniques, know their machines very and know what to do. Versus amped up people who think they are invincible, until they die or as often happens they kill other people. I would like to know how many of these are criminals leaving a burglary etc, hence running.  I also wonder if the rock stars on PS3 / Xbox etc think they can take their hi scoring skills onto the public roads with the same success.

So what can the police and the judiciary do? One possibility, is to charge people with murder for causing death to anyone for all of the above items and include it into the 3 strikes laws. Enforcement by judges is crucial, as well. (Blessie Gotingco would still be alive if the judge had listened to the prosecutor and evidence back in 2005 instead of playing the social worker).

If the judiciary could target the avoidable, measurable and reducible deaths with tougher penalties and enforcement by judges, then we might make some progress. If we have a measure of the above list which we can then design strategies to mitigate them. This would reduce the unnecessary guilt trips for the rest of the law abiding community. The zero speeding tolerance is a complete fail and just a tax gathering exercise that hasn’t saved one life.

I wonder if the minister is able to collect this data and publish it. As then, we may get some sensible discussion around the road toll.

I also think some crashes are a bit more random, where distractions, tiredness etc, may cause a fatal momentary lapse of focus with fatal consequences. There is no cure to this problem as individual responsibility has to play its part. I think these are just a part of life, with no cure or fix beyond the individual driver. We have a lot more people on the roads these days and the cars are way better than the one of yore where seat belts were the most unused part of a vehicle, drink driving had bragging rights and cars could drive themselves home after a big night out.

I would also say that having driven in other parts of the world I feel safer driving in Los Angeles & Tel Aviv than I do in Auckland. A lot of New Zealand drivers are very aggressive and not very good which also contributes to crashes.

The other elephant in the room is death by car / truck etc, where a person commits suicide by using another vehicle. I personally know of several people who have chosen this method of exiting this life, sadly.


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to Podcasts?
  • Access to Political Polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

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.  And 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.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

Tagged:
40%