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Published: 2002-10-22 00:00:00

Road crash fatalities are dropping in the Waikato with more effort being put into targeting speeding and drinking drivers.

Police Inspector Leo Tooman told this week’s Regional Road Safety Subcommittee meeting that the numbers dying on regional roads were down, but the vast majority need never have occurred. Most were happening on ”local” roads where less policing was done.

“Most people comply with the road rules when there’s a bit of stick to make them in the form of yellow and blue cars.”

He said the Region was putting more effort into catching drivers travelling at 10-15kph above the speed limit and quite big gains had been made in reducing speeds, making the Waikato number one in the country in successfully reducing fatalities.

“The difference is, at 100kph you can survive but you’ll die at 120kph.”

A total of 648 check points had been held in the past year and 230,361 drivers were stopped. Of those, 11,000 had had something to drink and 898 tested positive and went to court. Another 7951 offence and infringement notices for other offences were issued, and 1249 disqualified drivers caught. Another 170 drivers were caught for offences such as dishonesty, drugs or violence.

It was also apparent that more 16 and 17 year old drivers were drink driving once the drinking age was lowered, he said.