Too many lives lost on roads
The Taupo¯ and South Waikato is staring down the barrel of one of its worst ever years for road deaths and police say the main cause seems to be fatigue.
The death of a motorcyclist near Turangi last week brought the region’s [Turangi-Tirau] road toll to 22 this year, including last month’s quadruple fatality accident on State Highway 1 between Taupo¯ and Tokoroa.
Road Policing Manager for the Taupo¯ area Fane Troy said fatigue was thought to be a cause in many of the accidents.
‘‘We keep repeating ourselves and we will keep repeating ourselves because those are the causes of our crashes,’’ Fane Troy, Road Policing Manager for the Taupo¯ area, said.
Other common causes of accidents have been distracted drivers, not wearing a seat belt and driving under the influence of alcohol.
‘‘One of the big causes, which is hard to measure, is fatigue. We know it plays a big factor in our crashes, it’s just something that’s not easily measured.’’
He said by the time someone comes from Auckland they have already driven three hours and four hours if they were coming from Wellington.
‘‘With the way things are going on the road we could be looking at a record road toll for all the wrong reasons,’’ he said.
‘‘The highest road toll we’ve had for this area is 30. Going back five years ago there were only seven deaths. Over the past five years there have been between 7-12.’’
Of the 18 fatal crashes, all but two happened on state highways and all but one occurred in 100km/h areas. Two crashes involved many patients and Troy credited fire and ambulance services for the way they handled them.
AWARENESS ❚ Taupo¯ Police encourage employers to provide transport for their staff at Christmas parties, especially if alcohol is being provided. ❚ Plan a journey in advance, allow plenty of time and take stops at least every two hours. ❚ Make sure your vehicle and trailer are suitable for travelling. Get your vehicle checked before long journeys. ❚ Wear seatbelts, don’t drive distracted or under the influence. Drive refreshed. ❚ Check car seat expiry dates. If unsure contact Taupo¯ Parents Centre or Plunket.
The region’s road toll has soared.