Horror year on the roads with 2017 having most driving fatalities since 2009

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NZN

It's been a horror year on the roads, with 51 more people dying compared to the previous year.

It's believed a drunk driver smashed into the taxi driver and fled the scene.
Source: 1 NEWS

With just one day to go, 378 people had died on New Zealand roads, up from 327 during the same period in 2016.

That makes 2017 the worst year for driving fatalities since 2009 when there were 384 road deaths.

One person died in the early morning crash on State Highway 29.
Source: 1 NEWS

As people prepared to leave for their summer holiday Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said it had been a shocking year on the roads.

Police Minister Stuart Nash also urged people to challenge unsafe behaviour - but so far eight have died during the holiday period.

"The people we have lost this year are more than a statistic. They are parents, children, friends and colleagues. Each one has left people behind who are grieving for their loss," he said.

Police constantly pump out safety messages over the holidays, yet a tweet from Canterbury police on Saturday revealed just how bad it still is.

Emergency services have shut down SH1 south of Whangarei after a truck and three cars collided in a horrific road accident.
Source: 1 NEWS

"1U: Our code for a driver complaint. From 6pm to 5.30pm today we have had 100 1U jobs ...so about eight per hour," Canterbury police said.

"Some of those could relate to a single vehicle or incident but not enough for us to not tell you to relax, take it easy and be safe. Let's get everyone to 2018 eh?"

They overnight arrested a 29-year-old following an hour-long chase through the region described as "complete madness".

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating the fatal incident, while Road Policing Manager Steve Greally says more people are failing to wear a seat belt.
Source: 1 NEWS

In Nelson, police clocked a driver going 176 km/h on State Highway 6.

The weather won't be an excuse for the last day of the year either.

NIWA says overall there will be good conditions to ring in 2018 tonight apart from late day showers on New Year's Day for parts of the North Island.

With a few hours still to go, the road toll for 2017 was 378, up from 327 in 2016.
Source: 1 NEWS

The holiday road toll ends at 6am on Wednesday.

Last year 19 people died in the Christmas-New year holiday period and more than 100 were seriously injured.

"In 2018, road safety will be a major priority for the government. The trauma on our roads is unacceptable and something needs to change," Ms Genter said.

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