Police inspector says roads aren't to blame for Kiwi road toll, bad drivers are
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A police inspector says New Zealand's roads are not to blame for the Easter road toll, but bad drivers are.
Easter weekend for 2022, which ended at 6am on Tuesday, had a death toll of four. This is less than half of what we saw in 2021, when nine people died on New Zealand's roads.
Co-director of road safety partnerships, Inspector Peter McKennie, says it isn't the nature of the roads that causes the high road toll, rather it's the way people drive.
"It's not so much the nature of the roads, it's how fast and our manner of driving on the roads," says McKennie.
"We need to adjust to the conditions and the fact Easter has finished isn't an opportunity to relax on the roads, every day our roads have risks around it and we still have ANZAC weekend coming up and we are in the middle of school holidays."
He added that Kiwis can take action to make sure they're driving safely.
"It's more a matter of driving to the roads as they are as you can't expect the roads to change overnight but we can change our manner of driving overnight," he says.
"Certainly we can make sure everyone has their seatbelts on, we aren't driving impaired and we aren't distracted by cellphones."
Last year, the AA said that the Government needs to work to improve New Zealand's roads and that maintenance funding is extremely valuable.
"Road maintenance impacts a vehicle’s grip with the road, its risk of skidding and the driver losing control," the AA said.
"Even the best driver can lose control if the road they’re on doesn’t have good grip."
But McKennie said that even with the funding available, it would still take huge time and effort to improve the roads. He says people need to change the way they drive to prevent crashes from occurring.
"The roads themselves don't cause accidents it's how people drive on the roads that contribute to crashes occurring," says McKennie.
"So the important thing is for people to drive safely and appropriately for the roads as they are and that's what will help keep people safe."
He added that speed is the main contributing factor to crashes and that Kiwis need to slow down and take their time.
"Speed contributes to every crash no matter the other contributing factors," McKennie says.
"Our bodies are only able to survive certain speed impacts and most modern cars are only designed to protect you in a frontal impact crash at speeds up to 70km/h."