Stuff.co 21 October 2013
Drunk and stoned drivers are killing and injuring people on Waikato roads at a higher rate than the densely populated regions of Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago.
While the long-term trend is improving, a veteran traffic officer says there is still a rural minority who refuse to change.
In the year to June 30, one person was killed on Waikato roads for every 14,847 people due to the actions of drivers under the influence of alcohol and, to a lesser extent, drugs, NZ Transport Agency figures show.
Serious injuries were far more common at one person per 3883 residents.
At the opposite end of the safety spectrum was the Wellington region, where one road user was killed for every 117,827 residents and serious injuries at one per 16,832.
The grim statistics will take a human form at Hamilton District Court today when Amanda Catherine Lowery is sentenced for driving with excess blood alcohol causing the death of Shayna Kumitau, 18, after crashing off State Highway 23 at Whatawhata on February 14.