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The provisional road toll for 2016 is 326, Associate Transport Minister David Bennett says.

“The road toll is not just a number — every figure represents a life needlessly lost and family, friends and communities grieving. Our thoughts are with those that have lost loved ones on our roads over the past year” Mr Bennett says.

Provisional data for 2016 indicates 24 per cent of fatal crashes involved drivers travelling too fast for the conditions. Drugs and alcohol contributed to 40 per cent of fatal crashes, and 39 per cent of drivers and 42 per cent of passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing seatbelts.

"The reasons why more people are killed or injured on our roads one year to the next are complex. But whatever the reason, the road toll remains too high, and the increase over the last three years is disappointing,” Mr Bennett says.

“The Government is committed to making New Zealand roads safer and reducing the number of people injured and killed in crashes.

“We’re continually investing in physical improvements such as median barriers, rumble strips and wide shoulders, as well as in road safety enforcement, advertising, and education campaigns.

“Also, the Ministry of Transport has commissioned research to better understand the factors influencing the road toll.

“Road users also have a responsibility to keep themselves and others safe. It is disappointing that the summer holiday road toll is already higher than the previous year so I encourage people to drive safely, be considerate of other drivers and follow the road rules.”

“We have the whole year ahead of us, so let’s all do what we can to make sure the road toll is far lower than last year.”

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