The Ministry of Transport recently released a consultation document outlining its approach to a national road safety strategy, Road to Zero.
The document states an ambitious target of a 40% reduction in death and injury between 2020 and 2030.
However, as set out in its submission, RTF considers the strategy to be overly simplistic in its treatment of evidence, detailed analysis of the problem, and the development of proposed solutions.
“Good public policy requires granulated analysis of data that does not exist in this strategy and therefore the public is only being presented with ‘headline data’ that will inevitably lead to a certain set of conclusions,” says RTF’s Nick Leggett.
“The likelihood is that these conclusions, while neatly fitting with the current Government’s narrative on road safety, will not necessarily address the root causes of accidents.”
Firstly, says Leggett, it’s critical that we address our inadequate roads: “Median barriers and acoustic edge treatments do not make up for fundamentally dangerous roads or poor road surfacing. These issues can only properly be remedied through investment in new, modern roads.
“Old roads don’t have the performance reliability, inbuilt safety design characteristics, or the structural integrity required for a modern, safe transport system.
“Our concern is that inadequate road repairs and retro-fitting of median barriers to unsafe highways will be as much as we can expect in what has become an infrastructure-building vacuum under this Government,” says Leggett.
“Like the majority of New Zealanders, RTF is extremely frustrated at the inaction over transport infrastructure. The Government has significantly hiked RUCs and petrol excise….but what have motorists got to show for it?”
On the issue of a possible blanket speed reduction, dropping the speed limit from 100km/h to 90km/h will remove the speed differential between light and heavy vehicles….which provides a limited speed window for light vehicles to pass heavy vehicles within the speed limit. RTF does not see a reduction in the heavy vehicle speed limit to 80km/h as the answer either...
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