Politicans ignore 363 dead bodies

Road accidents – a major killer in New Zealand – are being ignored during the election campaign, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Editor Clive Matthew Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says:

363 people have died on our roads in the last twelve months. If 363 people had died in a plane crash, there’d be a national outcry. Yet when they die on our roads, it barely rates a mention.”

“It’s time for the politicians to front up with some answers to tough questions, but first, let me explode three great myths."

"The first is that training will lower the road toll. Sadly, advanced driver training does not lower the road toll. This has been demonstrated in study after study."

"The second myth is that people will behave sensibly if you can make a logical case for behaving safely. The sad fact is, the highest risk groups don’t understand cause and effect; they see life as something that just happens to them, and which they have no control over. Therefore they are largely immune to road safety messages."

"The third great myth is that fines and disqualification will lower the road toll. In fact, disqualifications and fines make little difference to the highest risk groups."


Matthew-Wilson has eight questions for each of the political parties:


1) The American National Safety Council estimates 26% of all traffic crashes involve drivers using cellphones. What steps will you take to address this issue?


2) In 2016, 52 motorcyclists, mostly middle-aged men, died in road crashes. What steps will you take to reduce this carnage?


3) In 2015, 58 people died and a further 808 were injured in road crashes involving trucks. This was 18%of all deaths and 7% of all reported injuries on our roads. What steps will you take to bring this high toll down?


4) A study by Monash University on the effectiveness of roadside fencing and median barriers concluded that: “reductions of up to 90% in death and serious injury can be achieved, with no evidence of increased road trauma for motorcyclists.” What steps will you take to increase the numbers of roads with roadside fencing and median barriers?


5) During 2009–14, senior road users (i.e. drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians aged 75 years and over) made up 5% of the population but 11% of fatalities. What steps will you take to improve the safety of this group?


6) Between 2006 and 2015, almost four times as many pedestrians (348) as cyclists (90) were killed on New Zealand roads. Pedestrian deaths among people over 65 (104) also outnumbered total cyclist deaths (90) over that period. What are you going to do about this?


7) The number of people killed on the roads while not wearing seatbelts hit 100 last year. What will you do about this?


8) In 2016, overseas drivers were involved in 24 fatal traffic crashes, 114 serious injury crashes and 506 minor injury crashes. What steps will you take to bring this high road toll down?