29 Dec 2016

Holiday road toll already matches last year's

6:25 pm on 29 December 2016
A policeman inspects a road after a crash.

12 people have died on the roads since 4pm on 23 December. Photo: 123RF

The number of deaths on the road this holiday has climbed to 12 after a motorcyclist was killed in Central Otago this morning.

Police said 37-year-old Cromwell man Scott Alexander Mackenzie died at the scene of the the crash, near the intersection of Partridge and Shortcut Roads.

There had been a diversion in place closing part of Shortcut Road but police have now finished their investigation and the road is open.

It means the road toll is already equal to last year's toll for the entire period.

National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said police were "extremely disappointed".

"[It] means 12 families who we have had to break devastating news to," he said.

"They now have to spend their holidays saying goodbye to a loved one."

The official holiday toll period runs from 4pm on 23 December to 8am on 4 January.

This year's toll includes five people under 18 and four motorcyclists.

Mr Greally said the motorcycle death numbers were significant.

"Every time you approach a car - or motorbike - with keys in your hands, you need to be aware that your decisions affect more than just yourself.

"You have to think about your passengers, other road users, your family and friends and the loved ones of other road users.

"Think about how your family and friends would feel dealing with the loss of your life.

"How you would feel if you were responsible for the death or serious injury of one of your passengers? Or any other road user?

"I know it's tempting to take risks and that we think 'it won't happen to us'. But it can, and it does.

"The risk is simply not worth it."

During the last Christmas holiday period there were 11 fatal crashes and 244 reported injury crashes. Twelve people died.

Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council chairman Mark Gilbert said speeding, a lack of skills and substance abuse could contribute to accidents.

He said both motorcyclists and drivers needed to act more defensively on the roads.

This holiday period's victims:

December 23

Myung Wha Lim, 83, was struck by a car in Takapuna, Auckland, and died from her injuries the following day.

December 24

Tongan nationals Sione Taumololo, 11, and Talita Fifita, 33, died when a bus they were travelling on crashed 100 metres down a bank on State Highway 2, south of Gisborne.

December 25

Andrew Reinders, 53, died when a motorcycle and a ute collided on State Highway 2 in south Wairarapa.

December 26

Samuel James Drost, Cole Troy Hull, and Lily Frances Moore, all 15 years old, died when the car they were travelling in rolled in Leeston, Canterbury. A passer-by found the wreck just after 2am.

One person died in a crash at on State Highway 3/Napier Road, Ashhurst, near Palmerston North.

Tyler Te Ruru Ahurei Davis, 2, was hit by a car in a driveway in Te Kauwhata in Waikato. Police said initial indications were that a vehicle struck her while it reversed from a driveway.

December 27

A motorcyclist died when they collided with two cars on Waipahi Highway in Pukerau, near Gore.

December 28

A man died in hospital after his car crashed into a milk tanker in Hawera, in Taranaki.

December 29

A motorcyclist died in a crash in Cromwell, in Central Otago, shortly before 6am. He died at the scene of the crash, near the intersection of Partridge and Shortcut Roads. Diversions were in place with Shortcut Road closed between SH8b and SH6.

Police said they were likely to release more victims' names today.

Record road tolls

  • The lowest Christmas holiday period road toll on record occurred during 2012/13 when six deaths were recorded.
  • The seven deaths in 2013/14 is the second lowest holiday road toll on record.
  • The highest holiday period road toll on record was in 1972/73 when there were 37 deaths.

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