Rotorua District Council road safety co-ordinator Jodie Lawson said the ultimate aim was for a zero road toll but the reduced number of fatal and serious crashes was a step in the right direction.
In 2007, there were five fatal crashes in Rotorua, 52 serious injury crashes, 129 minor injury crashes and 542 non-injury crashes.
In 2008 and 2009 the number of fatal crashes increased to six for each year. Serious injury crashes for the two years are lower than 2007 with 34 and 33 respectively. The number of minor crashes increased in 2008 to 141 but decreased to 111 in 2009. The number of non-injury crashes were 471 and 457 respectively.
The number of fatal crashes spiked in 2010 to 11. That year there were also 30 serious injury crashes, 122 minor injury and 426 non-injury crashes.
Last year there were three fatal crashes and 27 serious injury crashes - the lowest annual total in the five years. There were also 127 minor injury crashes and 361 non-injury crashes.
All of last year's fatal crashes were on rural roads and one of those was a driver aged between 15 and 24.
"Road crashes are a leading cause of youth fatalities. Young drivers lack experience and experts are recommending 120 hours' practice prior to going solo on our roads."
Ms Lawson said the council had put extensive time and backing into educational programmes for youth.
"Driver Directions runs each school holiday and is a day-long event for young drivers and their parents/caregivers. It gives the opportunity to practice driving skills in a safe and open environment. All the expertise is provided and both parents and young drivers are well supported ... "
She said the spike in rural road incidents had prompted the council to look at education programmes targeting rural drivers.
"There are many events planned for 2012 and 2013 such as a 'safety' day for Reporoa on December 9," she said.
"Rural schools are also now being captured in our Back2School campaigns each school term."
The statistics also reveal intersections as the most common place to have a minor crash, with 53 of last year's minor crashes happening at the city's intersections.
Five intersections were outlined as high-risk. They are: State Highway 5 and Hemo Rd, Fenton St and Haupapa St, Malfroy Rd West and Malfroy Rd, Clayton Rd and Thomas Cres and Amohau St and Tutanekai St.
Ms Lawson said road safety was everyone's responsibility and there was a range of things people could do to improve road safety.
"Take advantage of the many opportunities available to our community. Check out the council website for planned events or email email@example.com
"The courses on offer are in most instances free of charge so encourage others to take up opportunities as well.
"Word of mouth is an integral key to the continuation of quality programmes."
- Most fatal and serious Rotorua crashes happen between 3pm and 6pm on Wednesdays.
- Most common things to hit in fatal and serious crashes are posts or poles, fences, cliff banks and trees.
- Cars and station wagons make up 63 per cent of all fatal and serious crashes.
- Men aged between 30 and 50 are most often the drivers at fault in a fatal or serious crash.
Licence status of at fault drivers in fatal and serious crashes
- Full - 52 per cent
- Restricted - 17 per cent
- Learner - 3 per cent
- Never licensed - 7 per cent
- Disqualified - 7 per cent
- Overseas - 3 per cent
- Other/unknown - 11 per cent