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Pedestrian and cyclist deaths rise

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/05/2017

Almost twice as many pedestrians have been killed on roads so far this year, prompting police to renew calls for motorists to drive safely.

Police say 15 pedestrians, or seven more than this time last year, and seven cyclists - compared to two last year - have died on local roads.

The 2017 road toll now stands at 132 or 12 times higher than last year and also includes a high number of children and motorcyclists, Superintendent Steve Greally said.

"Global road safety week is the perfect opportunity for all of us to think about our driving habits and how we can better keep ourselves and others safe."

Drivers should also remember they have to be ready for other road users who may behave unpredictably, such as children who may not always look before crossing the road, he said.

Cyclists also need at least 1.5m of space around them when being overtaken, he said.

"You can't control the behaviour of other road users, but you can control your own."

Motoring association AA also appealed to drivers to use road safety week to remind themselves to drive to the conditions, saying it is possible to drive dangerously even when following the speed limit by not taking into account the conditions.

Motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said this included slowing down in the wet and near schools and also understanding roads are much riskier when they do not have a median barrier separating oncoming traffic.

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