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This year's toll is now 332 - five higher than the total number of deaths for the whole of last year, and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter is meeting officials this week to see what can be done to slow it down.

Police believed cellphones could be a factor, saying this was highlighted by the number of drivers caught in a recent sting in Napier.

Police are investigating a driver who was filmed overtaking a car at a blind corner in West Auckland.

A dashcam video captured the driver passing a car before crossing the centre line as he approached the next blind corner in Huia, on November 10.

Women are often stereotyped as being bad drivers but new research shows they are actually more competent than men behind the wheel. Young men, regular drivers and extroverted or neurotic people are more likely to be distracted while driving, the study found.

A motorist was caught playing part of a set of bagpipes while driving in Dunedin. Officers working a roading checkpoint in the city discovered the motorist was more interested in making music than watching the road.

Almost half of New Zealanders sitting restricted driver licences are failing, with a lack of practise behind the wheel being blamed.

Young drivers often don't identify hazards well and tend to do much better when they get professional lessons, experts say.

Statistics from the NZ Transport Agency show 45 per cent of people who sat a restricted licence in New Zealand, from January to November this year, failed.

Police and the NZ Transport Agency are undertaking a combined operation to raise awareness about the increased risks associated with winter driving.

Operation Hōtoke (winter) is aimed at drivers heading to and from ski fields around the country and will focus on the heightened risks on alpine roads during the ski season.

These risks include people driving while fatigued or affected by alcohol, not wearing seatbelts, driving at unsafe speeds and failing to adjust to winter conditions.

A child killed or injured in a car accident is a tragedy still all too common on New Zealand roads - but the anguish suffered by parents whose child has been injured because they were belted in wrongly can be even worse.

So says Dr Mike Shepherd, Starship Hospital's director of child health (medical and community) whose colleagues see the grievous head and abdominal injuries suffered by children either not belted in or, even more tragically, belted in by caring parents who strapped them in wrongly.

Consider the modern car engines with its advance toward improved performance, reliability and built-in wear-resistance.  But this can soon be destroyed by, for example, an owner running his-or-her engine with dirty oil, or clogged filters.

Rising insurance claims are set to push up the cost of car insurance, with one insurer warning that double digit increases will be on the cards

Mazda New Zealand says at this stage they are aware of 11,300 vehicles in New Zealand that could be affected by a recall.

The models in question are Mazda 2,3 and 6 that were purchased between September 2007 and March 2012.

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