COMMENT:

Over the weekend the NZ Transport Agency released a list of 10 stretches of road for intensive policing, as part of the effort to reduce crashes.

You can probably guess most of them from your own knowledge, and from hearing time and again about fatal crashes.

But NZTA is also trying to be a bit clever, by saying it won't necessarily be the known accident black spots that get the most attention.

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There are other stretches of road where it says " targeted enforcement will deliver the greatest overall safety benefits".

Decode that. The cops are going to be ticketing like never before, on stretches of road where we know people are regularly speeding.

Even if those aren't the places where the crashes actually happen.

So is this right?
I can hear the talkback calls already - it's just a revenue grab.

Against that, bear in mind the facts. Look on the AA's website.

They've had a detailed look at the causes of fatal and serious injury crashes.

They found an almost 50-50 split in fatal crashes. Half can be put down to reckless behaviour: that's your speeding, your drink driving, and not having a current licence.

The other half go down to what they call system failures: being in a car without air bags, hitting a pillar at the side of the road, and crossing the centre line.

And one thing that sticks out like dogs' balls in the AA data is that when two cars collide, the people in younger vehicles and those with better safety features have a better chance of getting out alive.

The AA goes on to say that this is a particular problem in New Zealand, as the average age of our vehicle fleet is 14 years.

And dishing out speeding tickets won't fix that.

So is it right to be blitzing these particular stretches of road - or this a sign of desperation at NZTA, with the road toll already at 260 this year.

Well, do the maths. In time, the older vehicles will fall out of the fleet, and the chance of your car saving you from yourself improves.

And I'm OK with speedsters and especially lunatic overtakers being targeted. No problem.

Ultimately, we're all responsible for our own safety on the roads.
So please, drive carefully.

* Tim Dower is a Newstalk ZB host.