Mind-numbing road stats

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Dunno if Alf has lost his marbles, but he is bemused by a press statement from the Ministry of Transport headed Crash Stats Show Road Safety Issues

An example of the meaningless data included in this statement:

Last year, 117 New Zealanders aged 15 to 24 were killed on our roads, and alcohol was a factor in 31 percent of fatal crashes, according to statistics released today by the Ministry of Transport.

Yeah. But for policy-making purposes, how about some comparative data to show if things are getting better, worse, or whatever, and to put those stats in the context of traffic growth.

The figures come from the Ministry’s publication Motor Vehicle Crashes in New Zealand 2008.

Motor Vehicle Crashes collects information about the number and type of crashes on our roads and common factors involved, as well as crashes by local body area.

Great. Lots of numbers.

But Alf wants to see trends over a decent time period.

A bit more helpful, but not much, is the information that –

The number of motorcyclists injured has more than doubled since 2001.

So how many more motorcycles are there now and how many were there then?

Among other meaningless data in the press statement:

• The total number of Police reported road crashes last year was 39174. Of these 331 were fatal, 2098 were serious, 9218 were minor and 27527 were non injury crashes.

• Travelling too fast for the conditions was a factor in 34 percent of fatal crashes last year.

• Last year New Zealand had 8.6 road deaths per 100,000 population. In comparison, Australia recorded 7.3 in 2007.


But Alf does not find these figures helpful in the absence of figures from previous years and other relevant statistics.

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