3 Jan 2020

Official holiday road toll sees drop in deaths from previous year

10:29 am on 3 January 2020

The official holiday road toll period ended this morning with six people having died on the country's roads.

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Photo: RNZ Insight / Ben Strang

The Transport Ministry is yet to release official figures but provisional data shows that three drivers, two passengers and one pedestrian died this year.

There are an average of 13 road deaths each holiday period - making this year's figure a significant drop.

There were nine deaths last year, 12 in 2017/18 and 19 in 2016/17.

The official holiday road toll period runs from Christmas Eve and ended at 6am this morning.

Annually too, fewer people died on the road in 2019 than the previous year. A total of 353 people died on the road, down from 377 in 2018.

For the country, 2017 remains the deadliest year on our roads this decade, when 378 people died.

The number of deaths reached a low point in 2013 when 253 people died on the road.

The government is proposing a new road safety strategy called Road to Zero, aiming to cut road deaths by 40 percent in the next decade.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the strategy would follow Sweden's Vision Zero strategy which seeks to eliminate road deaths.

Genter said the aim of a 40 percent reduction in road deaths was long term, and wouldn't involve short term goals for reducing road death.

If the new road safety strategy is implemented and is successful, figures will drop to 226 or fewer in 2030.

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