A headline on the inevitable road toll story that adorns the Herald’s pages on Mondays is a load of bollocks.
The headline reads Cops despair at deadly roads
The caption beneath a photo was just as silly:
“Two die in grim weekend on NZ’s deadliest roads.”
So where in the story do we find why these have been labelled NZ’s deadliest roads?
Alf is still looking.
The buggers who write this rubbish should be celebrating the fact that only two people were killed.
We have had a weekend of good weather in which thousands of people were out on our roads, driving in opposite directions often on narrow bands of highway or street and often at speed.
Remarkably few collide.
The more fascinating question is why the cops should despair at deady roads.
The fact is they should despair about bad driving, because –
A woman was killed yesterday when she crossed the centre line and smashed into another car in Waikato – capping off a horror weekend on the roads for a region where the toll is not following a national trend downwards.
Two men in the other car were seriously injured when the woman’s BMW missed a corner on Hakarimata Rd, 5km north of Ngaruawahia, about 5pm.
Waikato police are urging drivers to pay attention after a weekend of serious crashes, and say it is “local people dying on local roads”.
Say that again?
Oh, yes. The police are despairing about the drivers, not the roads.
Next question: why was the Herald’s reporter driven to talk about a horror weekend?
The answer, it seems, is because –
The crash was the second fatal collision in Waikato at the weekend. As well, two people were seriously hurt in other accidents.”
So the Herald has become horrified by two fatal collisions in the Waikato.
If that’s their horror threshold, how would they react – say – to a spate of deaths from eating killer cucumbers from Spain?
But let’s go on.
“While the rest of the country is experiencing a historic low road toll, Waikato has twice the number of fatalities to the next closest road toll, which is the Bay of Plenty, despite having 60 fewer crashes this year,” said Waikato police spokesman Andrew McAlley.
“This would indicate that the contributing factors that have resulted in their deaths have been more serious. That would be greater speed and greater inattention by drivers.”
Hmm. No mention there about despair at deadly roads. It’s more about the death toll in the Waikato, which could be explained by all sorts of things, such as the lower IQs of people who would want to live in the Waikato.
The cop went on to day motorists’ attitudes needed to change, as they had after the Government’s drink-driving campaign.
“It’s become socially unacceptable to drink and drive. It needs to start becoming publicly unacceptable to speed and not pay attention.”
All this being so, maybe the roads contributed to the other accidents.
Hmm. No, they didn’t.
In the first crash, about 1am on Saturday, passenger Shaun Nilson, 17, was thrown through the windscreen of a car in Heaphy Tce, Hamilton, and died.
Police say the 16-year-old driver had been drinking and was on a restricted licence.
The car was travelling so fast it smashed into a power pole, snapping it, then travelled 6m and became wrapped around a tree.
So the road should cause no despair in that case.
In a second crash, about 9.30am yesterday, a mother and son in a van on their way to a soccer game tried to make a u-turn in East Mine Rd, Huntly, to return home for a pair of forgotten boots.
Their vehicle struck a motorcyclist, who was seriously injured.
An hour later, a 15-year-old passenger was seriously hurt when a car failed to give way and collided with another vehicle in State Highway 3 at Ohaupo.
“We’ve got the police presence out on the roads, the engineering’s being done, what you’re looking at now is driver attitude” said Mr McAlley.
“It’s local people dying on local roads.”
The engineering’s been done?
This suggests the roads have been undergone some safety improvements.
Oh, and the area has had 60 fewer crashes than at this time last year, although the number of fatalities is at the same level.
Dunno why the reporter and headline writer couldn’t have focused on 60 fewer crashes. Alf regards this as something worth highlighting.