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Road Safety Package Announced

Hon Mark Gosche
Minister of Transport

8 June 2000

Road Safety Package Announced

A $152 million plus road package announced today will see greater emphasis on driver education and a dedicated traffic patrol on New Zealand’s highways.

The package, announced jointly by Transport Minister Mark Gosche and Police Minister George Hawkins, includes plans for:

 A 225 strong “highway patrol” within NZ Police
 More money for community driver education initiatives, with almost twice as much going to community funding as there is at present
 An end to the hidden speed camera pilot
 Greater emphasis on Maori and Pacific Island driver education, as part of the Government’s “Closing the Gaps” initiative
 More compulsory breath testing – particularly in high-risk rural areas
 Tougher enforcement of speed restrictions and seat belt rules
 Membership of ANCAP, the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme, providing safety information for those buying new cars
 Improvements in monitoring of commercial vehicles

The two ministers believe that together these measures will significantly reduce the road toll and the rate of injury accidents in the next year.

“This Government is committed to curbing the road toll. This is the first increase in road safety spending in nearly six years," said Transport Minister Mark Gosche.

“We believe the way to reduce road trauma is multi-pronged approach which must include education and enforcement. We need to educate drivers to change their attitudes and at the same time we need to make sure that there is high profile enforcement, to catch those drivers who insist on continuing to offend”.

In total the package will cost $152 million in the first four years (including $26.5 million in the coming financial year), and then around $42 million in each subsequent year.

The ministers said the package would prepare the groundwork for a longer term road safety strategy currently being developed that would be available for public comment later this year.

ENDS


Community Road Safety Funding

The amount of funding available for community road safety projects has received a significant boost with a GST inclusive $3.837 million top-up announced in the Budget. Of this, $1.125 million has been allocated specifically for projects to reach Maori and Pacific people under the Government’s Closing the Gaps strategy.

An additional GST inclusive $1.688 million of road safety advertising support targeted specifically for Maori and Pacific people was also announced.

The top-up is in addition to the $2.779 million the Land Transport Safety Authority currently receives from the Government for community road safety initiatives.

Community funding is allocated each year via local authorities to road safety co-ordinators and community groups under the annual road safety programme, managed by the LTSA. The community-based programmes have been very successful in encouraging local ownership and responsibility for road safety issues. The new funding will meet community demand for more local involvement in road safety initiatives appropriate to their own needs.

Community project funding will continue to be allocated via local authorities but the additional GST inclusive $1.125 million for Maori and Pacific Island community projects will be allocated directly by the LTSA regional offices. The amount to be distributed recognises both the population mix and road safety risk in each area.

New application forms which explain the criteria for project funding for Maori and Pacific Island projects will be available from LTSA’s regional offices shortly.


Examples of Current Community Road Safety Projects:

AUCKLAND REGION
 Marae-based driver licensing and education programmes
With their genesis in Northland, marae-based driver licensing and education programmes are now being run successfully nation-wide. Typically a group of 20 experienced but unlicensed Maori or Pacific Island drivers come together on a marae to learn the road rules and prepare for the learner licence test in an environment in which they feel comfortable.
 Regional Projects ("Red Means Stop – End of Bloody Story", "Know When To Go!" and "Motorway Manners")
These projects involve the entire road safety community in their design and execution and are driven by research that indicates that red-light running, intersection crashes and poor merging on motorways are all major problems in the region. The latest project on motorway driving involved facing on-ramps, and the use of variable message signs above the motorway. The projects reach a large target group with limited spending and have all been evaluated favorably.
 Rural Alcohol Watch and the Barskills Roadshow
These Northland projects involve representatives from the hospitality industry and the road safety community travelling to sports clubs and RSA clubs in order to increase the commitment and knowledge of patrons and servers in the area of host responsibility.

NAPIER REGION
 Millennium Project
Community project funding was used to finance a campaign to ensure safe driving practices in Hawkes Bay during the millennium celebrations and the ensuing holiday period. Assistance included the funding of free buses on New Year’s Eve. During this period there were no fatalities and only one serious crash in Hawkes Bay.
 Wairoa Restricted Driver Programme
The LTSA has for some time funded courses for disadvantaged drivers to obtain their learner licence. For the first time a second course to enable these people to progress to their restricted licence has been run in Wairoa and funded through the New Zealand Road Safety Programme in conjunction with the Wairoa District Council.

HAMILTON REGION
 Dollars For Sober Drivers
This innovative sober driving scheme has slashed drink-driving rates and filled the coffers of schools in the Eastern Bay of Plenty community of Kawerau. The scheme cuts $70 from a yearly pool of $20,000 each time a Kawerau resident is charged with drink-driving. At the end of the year, the remaining money is divided evenly between the district's six schools. The scheme has helped cut drink-driving charges by 75 per cent and resulted in donations of more than $25,000 to local schools.
 Older Road User Handbook
Elderly drivers in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty are over-represented in crashes compared with other age groups. In recent months the local Road Safety Co-ordinator has produced and published a handbook specifically for older road users that addresses most aspects of their mobility on town and country roads. The handbook addresses the recurring concerns and queries of older drivers.

PALMERSTON NORTH REGION
 Highway Safety Action Programme
This is a major initiative spread across the seven local authorities in the Manawatu Wanganui Region. The project's objective is to reduce the level of trauma on the open road, which accounts 70 per cent of deaths and injuries throughout the region. Strategies will include projects on seatbelt promotion, speed, alcohol and host responsibility, fatigue and general driving issues, all with an overriding theme of highway safety.

WELLINGTON REGION
 Tertiary Road Shows
The Tertiary Road Show uses the chance of winning a quality used car to encourage University and Polytech students in the Wellington area to broaden their knowledge of road safety. To enter the competition for the vehicles, students must pass a Road Code test, ride in a seatbelt sled crash simulator, undergo a Booze Bus breath test and spot five safety flaws in a demonstration vehicle. Last year 600 students took part in the lunchtime tests at five Wellington region tertiary schools.
 Pacific Island Learner Licensing Courses
A total of six learner licence courses targeted at the Pacific Island community have been run in Hutt City on behalf of Hutt City Council and the LTSA. The courses have proven to be very successful in terms of providing the appropriate learning environment for participants to study and go on to pass their learner licence test.
 Nelson Bays Safe Cycling Campaign
Historically cyclists have been over-represented in crash figures for the Nelson region, with a cyclist crash twice the national average over the last two years. With the aim of reducing these crashes, activities were designed that included involving a local cycle retailer in the distribution and display of safety information and carrying out free bike safety checks and holding a Ride to Work Day in Nelson to educate and encourage cyclists to use the city's upgraded cycle way network.

CHRISTCHURCH REGION
 Ashburton Community Alcohol Action Project (CAAP)
The CAAP programme in Ashburton has gained a reputation for the impact of its “home-grown” promotions. The most recent sober holiday driving campaign spread the message of "Don't Drive Pickled", featuring a "pickled millennium bug" which appeared on posters and coasters distributed to 20 licensed outlets in the region.

DUNEDIN REGION
 Warbirds Over Wanaka
Local Police, Road Safety Co-ordinators and LTSA staff set up information stands at the air show, distributing information on safety belts, alcohol and driver fatigue, answering questions and encouraging people to try out the New Zealand Police safety belt sled crash simulator. Organisers estimate that 70 per cent of the 110,000 people who attended the show came by the information stands.
 "Moving On"
This programme is intended to teach supervisors techniques for instructing learner drivers in defensive driving and other areas needed to pass practical driving tests. A public education campaign aimed at both young drivers and their potential supervisors (i.e. parents) will be run in conjunction with the seminars. It is anticipated that this programme will refresh supervisors' knowledge of the Road Code and other driving issues and help them to give learner drivers useful instructions.

For more information about any of these initiatives, please contact the
LTSA’s regional manager in the area concerned.
New Zealand signs up with Australasian crash test programme

New Zealand new car buyers will now have easier access to safety information on the vehicles they’re thinking about buying with the announcement that the Land Transport Safety Authority is signing up to join the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).

The Minister of Transport, the Hon Mark Gosche announced funding in this month’s budget to allow the LTSA to sign up as a member of ANCAP. ANCAP carries out crash tests on a range of new models each year and from 3 July, the LTSA will be publishing these in the vehicle safety section of its website at www.ltsa.govt.nz

ANCAP’s crash laboratory in Australia tests a wide range of vehicles for frontal impact and side impact crashes. Crash testing data gives consumers the power to buy “extra safety” by choosing safer models. It is hoped that providing this information to New Zealand consumers will lead to more emphasis being put on vehicle safety at the time of purchase.

Overseas publishing of results has shown that consumer demand can lead to manufacturers making safety improvements to their vehicles, even ahead of standards being set forcing them to do so.

The LTSA says it will be introducing a wide-ranging communications campaign in the second half of the year to ensure new car buyers without access to the internet, can access the ANCAP crash test results.
More weight put behind commercial vehicle enforcement

An additional $175,000 to support the Police’s Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) signals increased support for monitoring the activities of commercial vehicles on the road.

The increased funding will be used to increase the amount of time that the Police spend on both on-road and weighbridge enforcement and gives Police the flexibility to move staffing levels between the two types of operation when required.

The CVIU will now have an increased ability to deal with offending away from the main routes, where weighbridges are sited.

It is expected that some of this increased enforcement time will focus on logging trucks and similar vehicles.

Concern about logging trucks has been rising in recent years, with statistics showing that these types of vehicles are three times more likely to crash than other heavy vehicles.

ENDS

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