8 Jun 2010

Tougher stance on speed slashes weekend road toll

9:27 pm on 8 June 2010

Police say a tougher stance on speeding drivers at Queen's Birthday weekend has worked. The road toll for the holiday period just ended is one - the lowest for 54 years.

From late Friday afternoon to 6am on Tuesday, police ticketed any motorist caught driving at more than 4km/h over the speed limit. The usual tolerance is 10 km/h.

The National Road Policing Manager, Superintendent Paula Rose, says staff feedback indicates that not many speeding tickets were issued.

She says that's because motorists changed their behaviour and policed themselves - which is what police wanted to achieve.

Ms Rose also says the number of positive drink-drive tests was very low.

The last time only one person was killed on the roads at Queen's Birthday weekend was 1956. Ten people lost their lives on the roads over the same weekend last year, the highest in 13 years.

There were 332 non-fatal accidents over the weekend this year, compared to 374 last year.

Poor concentration seen as main factor

The Automobile Association says while the long-weekend road toll of one is a good result, the police need to carry out more crackdowns on dangerous drivers.

The AA's general manager motoring affairs, Mike Noon, says that according to its crash analysis system it isn't speed but poor concentration by drivers that is the main factor in accidents.

Mr Noon says a strong police presence on the roads, combined with people staying at home because of bad weather, contributed to the low toll.