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Holiday road toll worst in five years

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/01/2017
<span style="font-size:13px;">The Christmas holiday road toll appears to have topped out at 19 this summer, the worst in five years.</span> © Getty The Christmas holiday road toll appears to have topped out at 19 this summer, the worst in five years.

There were no road deaths over the last two days of the Christmas holiday period, but the death toll of 19 is still the worst in five years.

The official holiday period ended at 6am on Wednesday. Officials are yet to confirm the final figure but the 19 deaths equals that of 2011-12.

Last summer, 12 people died on the country's roads during the period.

This summer's toll included three dying following a bus crash near Gisborne on Christmas Eve and three 15-year-olds killed at Leeston, in Canterbury, on Boxing Day.

The last fatal crash was on, Sunday, New Year's Day.

On Monday a four-car crash between Sanson and Bulls, where 15 people were reported injured, could have added to the toll but police credited the use of seatbelts for no deaths.

Last year 326 people were killed on New Zealand's roads, up from a record low of 253 in 2013.

Some countries have road death rates of three per 100,000 and New Zealand is approaching a rate of seven.

Associate Transport Minister David Bennett says the reasons for the rising road toll are complex but the government is continuing to invest in road safety measures.

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