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$22 Million Package Targets Road Toll

$22 Million Package Targets Road Toll

Minister of Transport Paul Swain and Minister of Police George Hawkins today unveiled a $22 million package of road safety initiatives aimed at reducing the road toll.

The initiatives are the first steps in the Government’s Road Safety Strategy to 2010, which will be released in full later this year.

“New Zealand has made great strides in road safety over the past decade,” said Mr Swain. “Last year there were 455 road fatalities compared to 650 in 1991. This was despite an almost 19 per cent increase in the number of vehicles on the road and an approximate 40 per cent increase in the number of kilometres travelled.

“These figures show that we’re on the right track but there’s still room for improvement. The government is determined to cut the road toll further and has set itself a target of no more than 300 fatalities and 4,500 hospitalisations by 2010. The first step towards this goal will be to reduce fatalities to no more than 400 and hospitalisations to no more than 5,870 by 2004.”

Police Minister George Hawkins said the drop in the road toll was excellent news. "It shows the value of work done by the Highway Patrols and other traffic related initiatives from the Police. The initiatives announced today will continue to support this work."

“A mixture of education, enforcement and engineering measures will be crucial in helping us achieve these goals,” said Mr Swain.

The main initiatives in the first stage of the strategy include:

New funding for the Police to target rural drink driving, Auckland motorways and heavy vehicle safety.

Additional funding for road safety advertising.

A Novice Driver Pilot, to test potential changes to the graduated driver licensing system for novice drivers.

Additional funding for the existing Community Road Safety Programme, including a Safe Routes programme to provide support for projects, which give safe access to the road network for pedestrians and cyclists.

An expanded Road Sense Ata Haere programme for primary and intermediate schools, which integrates road safety education into the every-day curriculum.

New funding to give road controlling authorities and their engineering consultants desk-top access to the LTSA’s Crash Analysis System.

A new voluntary Safety Management Systems (SMS) regime for road controlling authorities to ensure they design safety into new roading projects.

New funding for an Annual Travel Survey.

Funding for this first stage of the strategy will total just under $22 million (GST excl) for the 2002/2003 financial year,” said Mr Swain. “This money is from the $34 million additional funding for road safety announced in the ‘Moving Forward’ package in February. The remaining $12 million (approx) will be carried forward and dedicated to road safety and enforcement in 2003/2004.” "Today’s package is the springboard for launching us towards our 2010 goals. We will monitor our achievements against the targets set for 2004, and this will inform the development of policies and initiatives for the remainder of the strategy period.

“We can never eradicate accidents completely,” said Mr Swain. “But through well thought-out initiatives, like those announced today, we can greatly improve the safety of all New Zealanders.”

Detailed information on the initiatives outlined above can be found in the ‘Road Safety Package – first steps towards 2010’, which accompanies this release.


Road safety package - first steps towards 2010

What's in this package?

An additional $34 million ($22 million to 30 June 2003) to implement the initiatives outlined in this document, including: new investment in road safety education to improve road user behaviour

tougher enforcement of existing laws, including improved targeting of rural alcohol problems, heavy vehicle safety and key road corridors in Auckland, as well as giving the Police better equipment to carry out road safety activities

more effective tools for managing the safety of the roading network

These initiatives are the first steps in the Government's Road Safety Strategy 2010, which will be released in full later this year.

What will it achieve?

New Zealand’s road fatalities have fallen considerably from 650 in 1991 to 455 in 2001, despite an almost 19 percent increase in vehicles on the road and an approximate 40 percent increase in the number of kilometres travelled. The Road Safety Strategy 2010 will build on that success. The government is aiming for a goal of no more than 300 fatalities and 4,500 hospitalisations a year by 2010. The first step towards this goal will be to reduce fatalities to no more than 400 and hospitalisations to no more than 5,870 a year by 2004.


In 1995, the National Road Safety Plan set a target of no more than 420 road deaths by the year 2001. Targets of 1.6 deaths per 10,000 vehicles and 11 deaths per 100,000 population were also set. Over the next decade it will be important to maintain our efforts to ensure the road safety achievements of the 1990s are maintained and to build on the success of the National Road Safety Plan.

To help achieve this, a proposed Road Safety Strategy 2010 was released for public consultation in late 2000. The strategy proposed a goal of no more than 300 deaths by 2010, or about 1.2 deaths per 10,000 vehicles - equivalent to the fatality rates of the safest countries in the world.

The proposed strategy:

was evidence-based

was informed by a robust target-setting model that assessed current safety performance, anticipated efficiency and effectiveness gains and continued growth in traffic

proposed new goals

recommended new or enhanced interventions.

Responses to the consultation showed widespread support for continued improvement in New Zealand’s road safety performance. There was also strong support for a mixture of education, enforcement and engineering measures to be put in place to achieve the proposed goals. The submissions on the proposed strategy have informed the government’s decisions to increase road safety funding. These decisions were also informed by the objectives and priorities of the New Zealand Transport Strategy, which is currently in draft form. In February 2002, the government announced its package of transport funding, with an additional $34 million for road safety until 30 June 2003. This paper summarises the Land Transport Safety Authority and New Zealand Police projects that will be supported by this additional funding.

A full Road Safety Strategy 2010 document will be released later in the year, setting out the government’s longer-term plan for road safety to the year 2010, including funding, the contributions being made by other government agencies and how road safety will contribute to the broader transport objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy.

A full report on the consultation and a summary of submissions is available on the LTSA website (www.ltsa.govt.nz). The consultation document itself and associated working papers are also available on the website. Primary school education (RoadSense Ata Haere)

Better road safety awareness for school children develops a platform for safe behaviours during the rest of their life. The RoadSense Ata Haere programme is being rolled out progressively over the next three years, beginning with about 250 primary and intermediate schools in the 2002 school year. The initiative will ultimately be offered to all primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand.

The programme aims to increase the amount of road safety education in schools by helping teachers integrate it into their every-day delivery of the curriculum. In practice, that means anything from calculating car speeds and travel distances as a way of teaching maths, to writing road safety advertisements as a language activity. Facilitators work with teachers to identify possibilities for using road safety as a context for learning in the curriculum. Resources and activity ideas are provided that can easily be incorporated into existing teaching plans. The facilitators also work alongside Police Education Officers to support their activities in schools.

The model being used for RoadSense Ata Haere is based on international best practice and extensive research, and had previously been successfully piloted in about 200 schools throughout the country.

Novice driver pilot scheme

Novice drivers are a particularly high risk within the driving population. This pilot scheme will test the following potential changes to the graduated driver licensing system (GDLS) for novice drivers:

a competency-based training and assessment programme (as an alternative to driver testing)

a secondary school-age driver education programme (including piloting ‘professional behind the wheel training’ and theory-based risk management skills)

improved information for parents and caregivers of novice drivers.

These changes are aimed at preparing novice drivers using a complete range of driving, personal and social skills for safe driving, and are based on the best available international advice and analysis on driver education. The pilot will involve the participation of novice drivers from selected areas of the community and the country in specified driver education activities. One section of the pilot will operate through secondary schools, while another section will operate independently of schools and participants will not need to be of school age.

Community Road Safety Programme

The Community Road Safety Programme has demonstrated how active community participation in road safety can be achieved through the co-ordinated work of agencies and road safety interests throughout the country. The programme has grown rapidly over the past few years both in terms of the number of people involved at the grass roots level, and the number and size of projects being funded.

The new funding will enhance the programme and support increased delivery of community-based education services.

Training for community programme providers will be established in accordance with the recommendation made in the recent review of the Community Road Safety Programme. Maori and Pacific peoples community programme co-ordinators will be established, along with a treaty strategy and a cultural strategy for the LTSA.

A Safe Routes programme will also be developed to provide support for projects that aim to give safe access to the road network in communities where pedestrians and cyclists are shown to be at high-risk of injury. The first phase of this programme will focus on development and risk analysis, with increased implementation resources being made available in subsequent years.

Road safety advertising

The achievement of road safety targets is strongly linked to the combination of enforcement and advertising, which has proved highly effective to date. A well researched and monitored social marketing campaign targeting drink-driving, speeding and safety belt wearing has been an essential contributor to the achievements of the past decade. However, significant media and production cost increases over the last six years have diminished the ability of the road safety advertising programme to effectively support police enforcement in the target areas. Ongoing additional resources will ensure that the programme’s effectiveness continues.

Additional resources will also provide for an expanded driver education advertising programme. This programme will focus firstly on educating drivers on how to avoid “failure to give way” crashes, which are the third largest contributing cause of crashes after speeding and alcohol.

Continual monitoring will measure the effectiveness of each campaign, and the whole programme will be independently reviewed every two to three years.

Targeted enforcement

New funding will enable the New Zealand Police to target three areas for strategic enforcement: rural drink-driving, Auckland motorways and heavy vehicle safety.

Drink-driving enforcement will be enhanced with more staff and equipment to carry out compulsory breath testing and mobile breath testing. This will build on the additional rural drink-driving enforcement introduced in 2000/2001 to reinforce the message that drink-driving is unacceptable and that detection will have serious consequences for the offender.

New funding will provide 13 more staff and additional equipment for the Auckland Motorways Unit of the New Zealand Police to increase visible enforcement, crash management, and gridlock monitoring and alleviation. This will also take account of the need to provide enforcement for recent extensions to the Auckland south-eastern and north-western motorways.

The Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) will receive an additional 17 personnel throughout New Zealand in 2002/2003 for enforcement of heavy vehicle safety and to take account of increases in the numbers of heavy vehicles on New Zealand roads.

Increased strategic capability

The New Zealand Police will receive additional funding to ensure they can continue to target their enforcement efforts to the areas of greatest risk. This includes funding for additional staff for the Police Calibration Unit, strategic planning, implementation, operational analysis and evaluation, traffic prosecutions and road safety training.

Strategic support will also be provided through additional equipment, including booze buses, marked and unmarked road policing vehicles, laser speed detectors, and radar equipment to increase the up-to-date police stock of radars.

Partnership access to the LTSA Crash Analysis System

The LTSA's Crash Analysis System (CAS) is the fundamental measurement and analysis tool underlying New Zealand’s road safety programmes. Within the LTSA, CAS provides the basis for target-setting, policy formulation, crash black spot studies and annual road safety reports.

This project will provide desktop access to CAS for road controlling authorities and their engineering consultants, giving them a key planning and decision making tool for managing improved safety performance on their networks. For example, a local authority engineer will be able to look at the detailed crash history of a particular intersection on his or her computer. The project will also provide CAS access to Police District intelligence, enabling them to use crash analysis to better target enforcement to risk.

Road network safety

Considerable effort is being invested to support the development of a more consistent, and demonstrably safer, road environment for New Zealand road users.

Safety management systems

A voluntary safety management systems (SMS) regime for road controlling authorities will be developed and implemented in stages, using a collaborative approach to ensure that decisions about the construction, maintenance and management of the road networks lead to improved safety performance. The programme will give a sharper focus to the substantial safety gains to be realised directly from road engineering activities.

Under a small demonstration programme, some road controlling authorities will voluntarily adopt SMS comprising appropriate “quality system” strategies, policies, standards, guidelines and procedures applied to all phases of roading: planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance. It is envisaged that a successful evaluation of the demonstration programme will lead to a further roll-out of SMS through road controlling authorities.

Network performance

A collaborative project will be initiated to classify New Zealand’s road network according to road type and function. These classifications can then be used to develop safety performance measures across the road network.

In addition, work is to begin on a hazard assessment and reduction programme. This will determine the levels of roadside hazard encountered by motorists across the road network and develop a strategic approach to treating these hazards.

Annual travel survey

More information about the travel patterns of New Zealanders is needed to assist planning, implementation and monitoring of the Road Safety Strategy 2010. This type of information can best be provided by expanding the National Household Travel Survey, previously undertaken in 1989/1990 and 1997/1998. In order to provide a wider range of up to date travel information, a continuing survey of the travel patterns of people in New Zealand households will be established. This will assist in developing national and regional land transport strategies, targeting safety resources to risk and providing better information on walking and cycling travel in New Zealand. Strategic development

Funding has been approved to implement strategic development projects in key areas of road safety risk. These projects will provide a sound platform from which future road safety initiatives can be developed and implemented.

Projects include: addressing pedestrian and cyclist safety needs, including development of best practice standards and guidelines, and human factors research

encouraging road controlling authorities to work together to ensure that safety is integrated effectively and consistently into regional land transport strategies. Further speed and restraint measurement will help assess risk and aid targeting of programmes regionally

improving heavy vehicle safety

an examination of the current driver penalties regime to help ensure that penalties are set at an optimal level to deter unsafe behaviours.

Funding and evaluation

Funding for the initiatives outlined above will total just under $22 million (excl GST) for the 2002/2003 financial year. A breakdown of this funding is as follows:

Road Sense Ata Haere Programme - $2.7 million.

Novice Driver Pilot Scheme - $1.28 million

Community Road Safety Programme - $2.125 million

Road Safety Advertising - $4.2 million

Rural drink-driving, Auckland motorways, heavy vehicles - $3.35 million

Enhanced targeting of Police enforcement efforts - $3.05 million

Increased access to the Crash Analysis System - $0.8 million

Road Network Safety - $2.06 million

Annual Travel Survey - $0.5 million

In addition to these initiatives, $1.89 million has been made available for the strategic development of future initiatives.

Progress will be monitored throughout the first year and reviewed in July 2003. Achievement against the targets for the end of 2004 will also be monitored and will inform the development of policies and initiatives for introduction in the middle and later stages of the strategy. A full outcomes evaluation will be conducted in 2005 and every two years thereafter.

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