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Simon Bridges

1 January, 2013

Provisional road toll for 2012 released

The provisional road toll for 2012 is 306, Associate Minister of Transport Simon Bridges announced today.  This compares with 284 in 2011, 375 in 2010, and 385 in 2009.  This year’s road roll is the second lowest in the last 60 years.

“Although the 2012 toll is one of the lowest on record, I’m saddened that it is an increase on the 2011 toll,” says Mr Bridges.

“While the full reasons behind the 2012 toll won’t be known for some time, we do know that both the number of crashes with multiple fatalities and the number of motorcyclist fatalities increased.”

The number of crashes in 2012 with three or more fatalities was 8 (resulting in 30 deaths) compared with 1 (resulting in 3 deaths) in 2011.

“This is a reminder for drivers of their responsibility to their passengers to get them to their destination safely.

“Passengers have a part to play in road safety as well.  For example, as a passenger you can support the driver by checking they’re well rested and alert, and by sharing the driving on a longer trip.  You can also stop friends and family from getting behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.  Let them stay at your place, get them a taxi, or find a sober driver.

“It is also a timely reminder that we need to be vigilant regarding the more vulnerable road users like motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

The number of motorcyclist fatalities increased from 33 in 2011 to 45 in 2012.  This equates to 15 per cent of all road deaths in 2012.

The provisional data for 2012 indicates that alcohol was a factor in 31 per cent of fatal crashes, as compared with 30 per cent in 2011.  Speed was a factor in 25 per cent of fatal crashes, as compared with 29 per cent in 2011.

On a positive note, last year saw a record low for fatalities in the 15-24 age group.  There were 65 fatalities in this age group in 2012 compared with 82 in 2011.

“In the past our young people have been highly over represented in the road toll.  While this number is still too high, I am pleased to see that more of them are taking road safety seriously.

“Law changes such as zero blood alcohol limits for under 20s, raising the driving age to 16, and introducing a tougher restricted licence test have also played a beneficial role.

“The Government’s goal of a road system increasingly free of death and injury will continue unabated.  But every road user - drivers, riders, passengers, or pedestrians - needs to play a part.”

The Government’s Safer Journeys road safety strategy will guide improvements in road safety through to 2020.  The next Safer Journeys Action Plan, covering 2013-2015, is due to be published in the first quarter of this year.

  • Simon Bridges
  • Transport