Road safety charity calls for more action following road toll increase

By Leah Te Whata

The Easter weekend road toll has claimed the lives of four people, twice as many as last year.

Road safety charity Break NZ is calling for more action to be taken to prevent crashes on New Zealand roads.

For those who deal with the aftermath, the road toll is more than a statistic.

Break NZ Director, Caroline Perry says, "We don't talk about the road toll and the numbers.  We talk about families and deaths and serious injuries because it's not just a number, it's someone's life."

The official Easter weekend road toll presently sits at four including the death of two brothers - ages two months and four years old following a crash on the Desert Road on Friday.

A second crash near Taupo claimed the life of a woman who was already grieving the death of her mother.  They will now share a double funeral.

And on Saturday, a motorcyclist was killed after colliding with a truck in Rotorua.

Break NZ, which works to prevent road deaths and support the families of crash victims, is calling on the government and local authorities to do more.

"There's a lot more that we can do nationally to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads and that's everything to do with our road environment and roadsides, speed limits matching the conditions of the road which, in a lot of places we don't have at the moment".

Perry says, "When you have children involved, those [crashes] are just completely devastating for families, extended family and whānau.  The whole community is affected by the loss of a child".  

New Zealand Road Safety Week begins next month, but for now it’s the long weekends that are claiming lives and resources.

"You always hope that it's going to be a weekend where nobody loses their life and it is devastating when somebody does.  Every death on our road is a tragedy, it means a family are being told that their loved one isn't coming home".

The official Easter road toll period ends at 6am tomorrow.