Falling car accident rate means your friendly local panelbeater could be out of a job!
On a more serious note, road safety has been in the spotlight lately with multiple fatal accidents in recent weeks, this is a tragedy that particularly involves young drivers, speed, drinking, and unsafe cars. If we eliminated all those factors, it’s estimated that crash fatalities would plummet well below the NZ 2013 level of 254. Adjusted for population, both the fatality rate and the general car accident rate has been falling decade on decade, and that’s positive but the AA believes that some fresh thinking is now required in order to make a more fundamental impact.
They make 4 key points:
DRIVING WHILE DRUGGED-UP: The Police need the resources and technology to identify these idiots and get them off our roads.
HARD-CORE DRINK-DRIVING OFFENDERS: Most of us are responsible and know what our personal limit is, whether a glass or two or three. However there are known repeat offenders that drive over the legal limit, and two or three times the limit. Not twice or three times in their lives, but twenty, thirty or fifty convictions. They also don’t care whether they actually have a current licence or not. Get these idiots of our roads!
NCAP CAR SAFETY RATINGS: Educate the people on the meaningfulness of this issue. It’s mandatory for car dealers to advertise fuel efficiency, why not safety ratings. Let’s teach our idiots about car safety technology.
ROAD DESIGN: Redesign those known black-spots and replace painted centre lines on the open road with actual barriers. Let’s protect our idiots.
We would also add better driver education. Or is this just an Auckland issue that brings out the bad, the mad, and the simply rude?
We also vote for more policing of existing regulations. We see far too many cars without WOF or rego, and a scary number of drivers without a licence. We won’t even talk about mandatory insurance, not today anyway, but will make the point that NZ is the only first-world country left that does not have at least compulsory third-party insurance. If we insure our idiots, they will understand the cost implications of driving like idiots, in idiotic cars, and hopefully mend their ways.
Innocuous car park fender-benders are outside the scope of this proposition though – if there are no car accidents at all, the entire panelbeating sector would be unemployed. As the industry currently contributes about a billion dollars annually to the NZ economy, we say drive carefully, but not too carefully, the NZ economy and an entire industry sector is depending on you.