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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)

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page 17

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Train Fatality Risk in Britain.
Only 1 in 200,000.000.

The Report of the Chief Inspecting Officer of the Minister of Transport, on railway accidents in Great Britain during 1931, reveal that only eight passengers lost their lives in railway accidents that year.

Of the eight fatalities, three occurred in the Leighton Buzzard, three in the Carlisle, and one each in two other accidents, as compared with only one in 1930 and three in the previous year.

The figure is, however, less than half the average for the five-year period 1925–29, and the casualty incidence in the case of passengers during 1931 was not more than one killed in some 200,000,000 carried.

Compared with fatal accidents in connection with road traffic the list is striking, as during the first week-end of August, 1932, no fewer than eighteen people were killed in road accidents in Britain.

In a recent reference to the appalling loss of life every year on the roads, the British Minister of Transport, Mr. P. J. Pybus, stated that “battlefields are at present safer than British roads, on which 6,691 persons were killed and 202,119 injured in 1931.”

Commenting on the above figures, the Daily Mail observed that “if the fatalities increase in a proportionate ratio, most of the population will soon be living by accident.”

Reverting to the safety of rail travel, it is interesting to note that, as in the case of the British Railways, the New Zealand Railways have a really remarkable safety record. During the past seven years 170 million passengers have been carried without one fatality.

“A Valuable and Interesting

The following interesting reference to the New Zealand Railways Magazine appeared in the October issue of the New Zealand Traveller:

“The decision to continue the publication of The New Zealand Railways Magazine will be acclaimed with gratification by all readers of that brightly and interestingly-written periodical. It is not overstating things to say that its readers are appreciators of it and look forward to its appearance, month by month, with keen anticipatory pleasure….

“The railways are New Zealand's biggest industry under one control, and one in which every New Zealander is—or ought to be —intensely interested, and whatever loss may be involved in the production of the magazine is trifling compared with the interests involved and with the capital sunk in it. It is remarkable how wide is the appeal that the magazine makes. It is of the highest value as a means of making known to every member of the staff the ideas underlying the policy of the management, a matter that is almost of equal interest to the general reader. The technical side is not neglected, and, in addition, each issue contains articles of interest to those who are not railwaymen. From the informative and topical editorials to the news articles telling of transport developments in other lands, and from the regular features to the artistically produced illustrations, every page of the magazine is bright and interesting, and to none more so than to commercial travellers.”