The Southland district in New Zealand has seen a decline in the injury crashes on the roads with 367 in the region last year, the lowest in nine years, according to a study.

But the road crash figures for Southland from 2005 to 2009 from the New Zealand Transport Agency show 16 people were killed on roads last year, compared with 12 in 2008.

Over the last five years, there have been 55 road fatalities in Southland and over 600 people were seriously injured.

The study notes young drivers, intersection crashes and loss of control crashes on corners as the major road safety issues in the Southland area during the study period.

Nearly 30% of injury crashes between 2005 and 2009 were bend-loss of control crashes and during this period have claimed 17 lives and seriously injured 218 people in the region.

Between 2005 and 2009, intersection crashes have killed 11 people and injured over 1,200, with the most common causes being failing to stop and poor observation skills by the driver.

Over the last five years, road crashes involving young drivers claimed 32 lives and seriously injured 286 people, so the study proposes safety measures such as a zero alcohol limit, and 120 hours of supervised driving time for beginners.