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New Zealand’s roads are unique. They are varied, scenic and often enjoyable to drive, but they can also be dangerous and unforgiving, with hidden hazards. 

Drivers need help to drive to the risk on the road, because not all roads are created equal and conditions are continuously changing. 

In 2016, 327 people died on our roads. This cost New Zealanders $4.05bn. Speed played a part in every single one of these deaths, sometimes in terms of causing the crash, but in every case in terms of determining the outcome.

Our speed limits do not always reflect the risk on the road, and sometimes they are not right. When crashes happen, there are many causes – people make mistakes, the road might be tricky, the weather might be bad. The vast majority of severe casualties are not from extreme high risk behaviours, but from generally law-abiding people making a simple error.

Travelling the right speed for the risk on the road can help minimise the impact of a crash. Speed is the difference between a correctable mistake and a fatal error – whether we walk or are carried away.

In 2016, inappropriate speed was assessed to be a major factor in causing:

93 deaths 
512 serious injuries 
1,759 minor injuries 

The social cost of these crashes was massive – some $879 million.


For every 100 drivers or riders who died in road crashes because of inappropriate speed between 2014 and 2016:

48 of their passengers died with them 
13 other drivers, riders and pedestrians died with them  

For example, this infographic tells the story of Waikato roads in 2015

The story of Waikato roads

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