19 Dec 2017

Tongan road toll down on previous years

8:56 am on 19 December 2017

Tongan police say the country had its lowest road toll in 12 years and they are encouraged by the drop in the number of road fatalities.

The Central Police Station in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

The Central Police Station in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa. Photo: RNZI / Gareth Thomas

In 2016, there were 18 deaths on Tongan roads but in the year ending November there have only been five deaths.

Acting Chief Superintendent Tevita Vailea said while it was encouraging that 13 less people died than last year, it was of little comfort to the families and friends of victims, and to the people who were injured or traumatised by crashes.

Police were called to 262 crashes around the country during the January to November period.

Police said some of the most common factors for crashes included drivers losing control, speeding, drink driving, and failing to give way or stop at intersections.

Mr Vailea warned that police would be out in force focusing on excessive speeding, drink driving, and license checks during the festive season.

He said, in addition, everyone stopped will be breath tested and there will be a number of checkpoints throughout Tongatapu.