Keep toll down
Fewer people are dying on Wellington roads and Fran Wilde wants to keep to keep it that way.
‘‘The sad reality is that nine people died in road crashes in the Wellington region last year. However, it was the second lowest toll of all regions [ the West Coast recorded seven deaths] for 2010,’’ said the chairwoman of the Regional Transport Committee. ‘‘It’s certainly our lowest toll since 1980 and could well be our lowest on record.’’
For New Zealand as a whole, the 1981-85 average was about 680 deaths and the 2006-10 average was about 387. That’s a reduction of 43 per cent, compared to a 62 per cent decrease for the Wellington region over the same period.
Ms Wilde says there are many reasons for the reduction.
‘‘Obviously we have better roads than we did 20 or 30 years ago, acci- dent and emergency care and technology has improved and most of us are driving better engineered cars.
‘‘ However, in the Wellington region a very significant factor seems to be the reduced speed limits in many danger spots including Centennial Highway north of Pukerua Bay, parts of Akatarawa Rd, Lambton Quay and part of Grays Rd near Pauatahanui.’’
She also commended the combined work of all the agencies involved in road safety planning in the region.
‘‘We still have a lot of work to do to reduce the number of crashes occurring in the first place. If you are on the road – driving, riding or walking – you have a responsibility to yourself and others to travel as safely as you can.
‘‘This means no drinking and driving, no driving when you’re tired, and travelling at safe speeds.’’