Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


No surprise in rise of annual road toll, UC transport expert

No surprise in rise of annual road toll, UC transport expert says

New Zealanders should not be surprised by the rise in the annual road toll this year, a University of Canterbury transport researcher says.

The 2011 road toll of 268 fatalities has already been exceeded but UC transport engineering professor Alan Nicholson says despite it being disappointing it is not a major issue.

``While there is an overall downwards trend, there are fluctuations about the trend, so one should not be surprised by the death toll for 2012 already exceeding the total for 2011,’’ Professor Nicholson says.

``If discussing trends for holiday periods, one needs to be particularly careful, because the variability is even more pronounced.

``The Christmas and New Year period depends upon the day of the week on which Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall and varies in length from nine-and-a-half days to eleven and a half days which adds to the variation in the number of deaths and injuries.’’

Professor Nicholson says he had not seen any evidence that motorists were less careful during the Christmas and New Year period but traffic flows were generally higher, particularly on some roads, and this increased the demand on drivers. Some drivers cope with those increased demands better than others, he says.

``The pattern of traffic flow during the holiday period depends on which day of the week Christmas Day and New Year’s Day occur. Identifying which particular days during the holiday period when road deaths and injuries are more likely to occur is difficult to say. Daily death and injury counts are inherently more variable than those for holiday periods than whole years.

``Crashes involve a wide range of factors relating to the road, the vehicles and the drivers. It is important to address the full range of factors, and not focus on any particular type of factor, if deaths and injuries are to be reduced further. There have been improvements to the roads and vehicles and there have been changes aimed at improving driver behaviour.

``There are numerous options which have been adopted overseas and found to help reduce road deaths and injuries. A greater emphasis on accident reduction and prevention work via low-cost improvements to the road environment would help, as would enhanced driver education and training prior to being licensed. An increase in the age at which people can obtain a licence would also help reduce the road toll.’’

Professor Nicholson says there are three main measures of performance used for comparing countries. They are the deaths per capita, the deaths per vehicle, and the deaths per kilometre of travel. While New Zealand’s performance relative to other countries depended on which measure was used, it generally compared reasonably well with other highly motorised countries.

The best performing countries, based on a range of measures, are Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Those countries have road safety strategies which address the wide range of factors involved in road deaths and injuries, he says.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news