14 Dec 2004

Road toll in New Caledonia described as catastrophic

4:54 pm on 14 December 2004

An accident prevention organisation in New Caledonia says the road safety situation is catastrophic as the territory is set to record its worst road toll ever.

Its director, Thierry Valet, has told the news agency AFP that 70 people have died on the roads so far this year, which means that the fatal accident rate is three times higher than in France.

His comment comes after another four people died in a head-on collision near Noumea.

According to Mr Valet, an estimated third of all drivers have no licence.