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Crashes on Kiwi roads costing billions

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017
More than 300 Kiwis were killed in road accidents last year. © Phil Walter/Getty Images More than 300 Kiwis were killed in road accidents last year.

Crashes on New Zealand roads are not just costing lives but billions of dollars, the government says.

The Ministry of Transport's latest Social Cost of Road Crashes and Injuries report found the social cost of crashes in which people were killed or injured was an estimated $3.79 billion in 2015, up from $3.53b in 2014.

This averaged out to an estimated $4,729,000 per fatal crash in 2015, while serious crashes cost $912,000 and minor crashes $99,000.

With more than 300 Kiwis killed on local roads last year and around 2500 injured, Associate Transport Minister David Bennett says it is impossible to put a monetary value on a lost life.

"[However], this report shows that on top of the high price paid by friends, families and communities, each and every crash has serious social and economic consequences for all of us," he said.

"The sad thing is that many of these crashes were avoidable."

He said 40 per cent of crashes in which people were killed or seriously injured were due to drink driving, speeding or driving too fast for the conditions and failure to wear seatbelts.

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