Labour on road toll: Told you so

Labour on road toll: Told you so

Labour has blamed the highest Queen's Birthday weekend road toll since 1989 on funding cuts.

"In the past two years there has been a cut in road safety funding," says Napier MP Stuart Nash, Labour police spokesperson.

"Between 2013 and 2015 the road toll has increased by 68, making us one of the only countries where road deaths are rising."

Eleven people died on the roads between Friday evening and Tuesday morning. As recently as 2013 it was zero.

"Funding pressures from the Budget have forced police to remove 100 police officers from road patrols. That will lead to more deaths on the road. It's that simple," says Mr Nash.

In April, police said they had a funding shortfall of $26 million. Police Minister Judith Collins said at the time it would mean "fewer people doing road policing".

Transport Minister Simon Bridges refused to let NZTA hand over any more money, saying the existing level of funding was about right.

NZTA at the time said it expected to see a "more moderate achievement" of road policing outcomes. Mr Nash also warned in April the shortfall would make the roads more dangerous.

In 2013 the road toll bottomed out at 253, increasing to 294 in 2014 and 321 in 2015.

It's on track to rise again this year. This time last year 146 people had lost their lives on the roads. So far in 2016, it's 152, according to NZTA statistics.

Newshub.

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