Government targets fewer deaths on road

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 17, 2019

The Government is seeking feedback on a road safety plan that aims to prevent 750 deaths and 5600 serious injuries on New Zealand roads over the next 10 years.

“Most road deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

The government‘s plan adopts the world-leading Vision Zero approach to road safety – which applies the principle that no one should be killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“We do not expect to eliminate road deaths overnight but we can, over time, improve our roads so that simple mistakes do not result in devastating consequences,” says Genter.

“To drive real action from central and local government we are proposing to set a target to reduce annual deaths and serious injuries by 40 percent by 2030 (compared with the 377 people killed last year). If achieved, this would prevent 750 deaths and 5600 serious injuries on New Zealand roads over the next 10 years.”

The new target would be achieved primarily by increasing investment in road safety infrastructure over the next decade. Genter says the government is taking a balanced approach to making roads safer – investing significantly more in safety improvements, increasing safe driving messages and investigating lower speed limits only on the most dangerous roads in the country.

“Already this government is investing a record $1.4 billion over three years to upgrade over 3300km of our most dangerous roads. This plan proposes greater investment in proven safety upgrades like median barriers, roundabouts and safe cycling infrastructure.

“Drivers also have to do better, and we‘re investing more in driver training and education, with new programmes targeted at helping younger drivers get their licence and develop safe driving skills.”

As part of taking a balanced approach to road safety, the government is also proposing to:

  • make it easier for local government to review speed limits

  • improve the safety of vehicles entering the fleet

  • include a new focus on work-related road safety

  • prioritise road policing to tackle high risk behaviours; and

  • improve the safety of footpaths and cycleways.

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