Conference - Transport Connections for liveable communities
‘Winning hearts and minds’
The worldwide car transportation experiment has and is continuing to kill many more people than all the wars humans have sustained. For young people under 25 especially, road death is the most common way to die or be seriously injured. This is all in a human era where child birth is on the decline in NZ and people are actually older so if we don’t get killed on the road or seriously injured we live longer.
We as a community, who have created the transportation system, which is now essential for our society, having allowed our experimentation of a partially developed social change extensively using motor vehicles, under a lowest price road constructed program and the highest social cost fuel for profit allow our Politian’s to fuel a culture and media machine that constantly blames everything on the ‘nut behind the wheel.’ A current example of this is blaming overseas tourists in crashes recently. Our roads are built and maintained to ‘best practice’ international standards (every RCA will tell you maintenance budgets and safety improvements are at an all-time lowest investment level).
Vehicles in NZ are generally old with over 70% being some 14 years old (there is no incentive for kiwi’s to buy safe and efficient vehicles, the old one works she’ll be right, aye!) What tools do we give to visitors when they arrive to use the transport system (a credit card option).
Isn’t it so easy to blame overseas drivers instead of looking for the problem that resulted in the system failing?
To use the Prime Ministers phase: ‘at the end of the day.’ In our view the transportation system failed and the result was death and serious injury to another kiwi family.
The reality is that our NZ transport system fails. It has always failed because it doesn’t ensure the survivability and health of our road users. What we have done has justified death and serious injury by blaming anything as long as it was not the manmade system we have created.
‘Today we are on the brink of self-drive cars.’ That can safely and efficiently operate with the existing old human experiment cars we currently have on our roads in NZ.
As a transportation system ‘We must understand that humans make mistakes and that blaming someone does NOT solve transport system failures’ International research shows, shows Congestion and Crash Risk on motorways increases crash rates by 100%. However, the same congestion on urban roads reduces injury crashes by 50%.