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Published: 2001-02-14 00:00:00

One hundred people can expect to die on Waikato roads this year, according to predictions from the Land Transport Safety Authority.

This week’s Environment Waikato Regional Road Safety Subcommittee heard that more people were dying on the Region’s roads each year – 101 in 2000 compared to 93 the previous year, and 77 in 1998.

The highest number of fatal crashes happened in the Waikato District, Taupo, South Waikato and Hauraki Districts. Drivers were most often killed, with increasing numbers of passengers and cyclists. Fewer pedestrians and cyclists were killed. The increase was dramatic in the number of 25 to 39 year olds killed, while the number of 15 to 19 year olds killed decreased.

Head on crashes accounted for 34 percent of those killed – higher than the national average of 28 percent. The number of drivers who lost control was lower than the national average.
Most – 89 percent- of fatal crashes happened on the open road where the speed restriction was over 70 kph, and 76 percent on state highways.

Over the Christmas period there were 16 fatal crashes, killing 19 people. Most were on the open road and more than half were head-on crashes. Six were single vehicle crashes where the driver lost control. Two more lives would have been saved if they had worn seat belts.

The Committee heard that of the 100 people expected to die in the Region this year, 58 would be drivers, 34 passengers, three cyclists, two motorcyclists, two pedestrians and one motorcycle pillion passenger. Thirty four percent would be aged between 25 and 39 and 22 percent between 40 and 59.

So far, there have been five fatal crashes this year killing eight people.

Chairman Morris McFall said motorists found it too easy to blame road surfaces and weather conditions when they needed to blame their own driving.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.