Monday, January 04, 2010

Hectoring ad nauseum

The Australian holiday road toll is 68. The legal minimum driving age is 17. The Australians are blaming the state of their roads and irresponsible driving.

In NZ the holiday road toll is currently 11, which is, on a per capita basis, lower than Australia's. New Zealanders are blaming the minimum driving age of 15.

NZ and Australia are obsessed with holiday road tolls. Perhaps because it fills a gap in news stories. Perhaps because various interest groups want to use the toll as a lever. But do many more people lose their lives over this particular period?

According to the MOT;

The Christmas/New Year holiday road toll period begins at 4pm on Thursday 24 December and ends at 6am on Tuesday 5 January.

The holiday period will be 11.6 days. Last year the 2008/09 holiday period was exactly the same - from Dec 24 to Jan 5 (11.6 days).

11 deaths in 11.6 days is, so far, under the average for that time period.

In 2005 New Zealand's road toll was only very slightly above the OECD average. Per 100,000 population, NZ's average was 9.9; OECD 9.5. The NZ figure has improved since. There are a myriad of factors affecting the rate but, in the scheme of things our rate isn't really, really bad - and neither is it really, really good. Accidents, tragic accidents, happen. But, the trend is heading in the right direction - down.

I guess I am just tired of being hectored about the road toll, along with smoking, eating junk food, drinking alcohol, water safety, sun safety, ad nauseum. No wonder so many New Zealanders are neurotic nutbars. Best just stay indoors and diet. In an unhappy coincidence, Wellington, the home of hectoring, taxpayer-funded harpies, has served up the weather to make you want to do just that.


Dave T said...

I'm with you on this Lindsay. Scanning over the Herald headlines this morning I just get frustrated with these kind of stories. Ban this, ban that ... as if any of this will help with the real problems of the world.

Maybe the journalism studies courses should include business statistics and logic papers instead of colouring in and wordart!

Michael Wynd said...

Summer does seem to bring out the 'banning' brigade. Like you I put it down to the slow news cycle. What is scary is the sure-thinking that supports these people and the idea that they can stop economic activity in NZ based on ill-founded grounds.

Redbaiter said...

Newspapers are dying. Good riddance. Bad rubbish.

Now if only the insufferable regulating legislating interfering do gooding politicians would follow suit.

Anonymous said...

I see now after the most recent drownings the banners now want signs to alert to danger. I suggest the following (translated into 57 languages):

""If you let your children swim in rip tides, with their clothes and boots on, someone will drown""

Common sense really - but some people really do need the most simple things pointed out to them.

Manolo said...

We must have the record number of do-gooders for the entire universe.

People trying to tell you how to live your life as if it were theirs.
The most effective ways of dealing with them are: 1) Ignoring the bastards; and 2) Telling them to f... off!

Anonymous said...

"harpies" lol perfect description.

JC said...

Pity we aren't hectored as much about our savings rate.

Actually, our falling road toll is as much to do with the media age of the population rising from 27 in the 1970s to around 37 now than anything else.