Road deaths are not inevitable – Waka Kotahi

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The 320 lives lost in crashes last year are a stark reminder of the urgent need to significantly improve road safety in New Zealand, say Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

“As we enter 2021 our thoughts are with the whanau, friends and communities of every one of the 320 people who tragically died on this country’s roads over the last 12 months,” says Waka Kotahi NZTA general manager safety, health and environment Greg Lazzaro.

“While the number of road deaths in 2020 was fewer than in 2019 (352), that is in the context of a year when there was very little road travel for several weeks during the COVID-19 lockdown, and by any measure it represents a tragedy for this country.

“Over the past ten years, more than 3,200 people have died in road crashes in NZ, and an estimated 23,000 have been seriously injured. Those are staggering figures that we all need to take notice of.

“Deaths and serious injuries on our roads are not inevitable, and we shouldn’t accept that serious crashes are just another part of road travel.”

Greg says that while everyone makes mistakes, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make safe decisions on the road.

“Improving safety on NZ roads is a top priority for Waka Kotahi. We are committed to Vision Zero, which aspires to a NZ where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Waka Kotahi and Police are working together with local government and others to deliver Road to Zero, the Government’s road safety strategy for 2020-2030. Road to Zero aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 per cent over the next 10 years.”

As part of its work on Road to Zero, Waka Kotahi will be working to improve the safety of NZ’s roads and roadsides, improve vehicle safety and work-related road safety, and lead a new approach to speed management which matches speed limits to the design, use, form and function of the road, and the risks posed to road users.

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@ The Professor

Posted on 02-01-2021 15:18 | By

Very well put. You’re 100% on the button. On serious offenses impound vehicles until fines are paid in full. Happy New Year Professor.


Posted on 01-01-2021 17:49 | By

Infrastructure should be sympathetic to the mistakes of the humans using the system. But surely it is better to give drivers the necessary skills to recognise both actual AND potential hazards then the skills to approach and manage them safely. Human error causes most crashes, yet media releases such as this rarely, if ever, mention driver education as a solution. Road to Zero (and Vision Zero) don’t state they will achieve zero road deaths. They state that no death is acceptable and everyone (and this does mean EVERYONE) should strive the reduce and prevent unnecessary death on the road. It is not someone else’s problem. It is OUR problem.

Get real!!!

Posted on 01-01-2021 16:59 | By

Road traffic accidents ARE inevitable!! Accidents will always happen on roads all over the world. I’m not sure why anyone from the NZTA, Police or Councils would think NZ is any different. Get real and accept that accidents will continue to happen. Clearly the approach to reduce and police speed limits isn’t working. How about focusing on other issues like drivers not stopping at stop signs, drivers pulling out into gaps which are not sufficiently safe, drivers on cellphones, drivers traveling too slow and causing frustrated drivers to take unnecessary risks to overtake!!!

Moronic , civil servant mentality

Posted on 01-01-2021 16:44 | By CC8

"new approach to speed management which matches speed limits to the design, use, form and function of the road" In other words they have failed on their part to build roads which meet the national specification, so now they will slow everybody down to a pace where impatience will make matters worse and the economy will blow out!

Same old, same old.

Posted on 01-01-2021 14:27 | By

I read the article hoping to see mention of better driver training so people don’t sit on restricted & learners for years, but no such luck. Also would like to see details of more proactive monitoring of those that insist on using phone for that ever so important text or social media update, maybe stiffer penalties too! Sadly not mentioned though. The focus is still on blaming the roads for being dangerous to drive on, even though the vast majority of us can manage it on a daily basis. There are always improvements that can be made to roads with dangerous junctions, safety barriers where needed etc but don’t overlook the obvious need for improved driving standards & enforcement for those that pose a serious risk to us all ....and that isn’t the driver going a few k’s over the limit.