New Zealand’s Deadliest Roads: 61 Deaths so far this year

By Jonathon Howe – Manawatu Standard

“The first two months of 2009 have been the bloodiest on record for Central District roads, with the area accounting for more than a quarter of New Zealand’s road deaths.

Of the 61 people killed on New Zealand roads this year, 17 died in the Central Police District, which includes Palmerston North, Wanganui and New Plymouth.

The number is the highest in the Central Police District for 14 years and the highest in New Zealand this year.

With eight deaths each, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato police districts were the second-worst affected areas.

The Central Police District experienced its lowest annual road toll ever in 2008, with 40 road fatalities.”

School Bus Crash
Also in today’s news, 8 students and a teacher from Gisborne High School were taken to hospital after their school minibus was involved in a collision with another vehicle on the Napier to Wairoa road. The fitting and wearing of seat belts in school buses is not required in New Zealand

According to a news report on Stuff

“Police said it appeared a car came around a corner towards the northbound mini bus and may have crossed the centre line.

The pupils suffered moderate injuries ranging from broken bones to bruising.

The car driver received facial injuries and broken bones.

The Lowe Walker rescue helicopter tried to land at the crash scene, but had to turn back because of bad weather.

The injured were taken to Hawke’s Bay Hospital in three ambulances.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged.”