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Police 'dismayed' and 'frustrated' as horror 2017 road toll continues to rise

Police have been left feeling "dismayed, really disappointed" and "frustrated" as the death toll on New Zealand roads continue to climb following a deadly 24 hours across the country. 

Seven people have been killed in five separate accidents since yesterday afternoon. 

In Northland, a woman died in a three car crash in Towai. Two people were killed when a car collided with a tree in Kumeu and two more died after being hit by a train at a level crossing in South Auckland.

A car crash on State Highway One in Maruia, between Timaru and Oamaru yesterday afternoon left one person dead and four others injured. 

"Yesterday all these people woke up and had a future in front of them," National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally told 1 NEWS. 

"Today, it's not the same news and it's really, really terrible. Death is so final." he said.

Fifty more people have died on roads across the country so far this year compared to this time last year, leaving Superintendent Greally feeling "really dismayed, really disappointed and frustrated."

Human lives lost in crashes were recognised in Christchurch today as 42 crosses were laid at the road accident remembrance event. 

"Those statistics don't reflect the human cost behind a crash and the suffering that families go through," Canterbury Road Policing Senior Sergeant Kelly Larson said. 

The new Government minister in charge of road safety is appalled at the rising road toll in recent years. 

"It's absolutely tragic and it's unacceptable that the previous National Government chose not to make safety a top priority in transport funding and policy. This new Government will," Julie Anne Genter said. 

Police say drivers need to take greater responsibility for their actions and they're urged to reflect back on when they first passed their driver's licence. 

"The reason you got your licence was because you weren't drunk when you did the test. You did wear your seatbelt. You weren't driving too fast and you weren't on your cellphone," Superintendent Greally said. 

Seven people have been killed in five separate accidents around the country since yesterday afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS


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