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King launches road toll consultation project

King launches road toll consultation project

Embargoed Until 10pm, 11 June

A major life-saving consultation project designed to reduce the road toll is beginning in July, says Transport Minister Annette King.

Ms King says the programme, involving engagement with stakeholders nationally, is aimed at finding the best ways to reduce the toll even further, and is one of the most important public engagement processes ever undertaken in New Zealand.

The 'See you there – safe as' campaign seeks input from key stakeholders and communities to find ways to reduce the annual New Zealand road toll to no more than 300 deaths per year by 2010.

Ms King says New Zealand has already made tremendous strides in reducing its road toll with by far most people obeying speed limits and drink drive laws.

"Further reductions in the road toll are very achievable and will have huge positive impacts on the health and happiness of all New Zealanders."

Ms King says the law can be a blunt instrument and cannot effectively take care of every situation people find themselves when using roads. "The key to further reducing the toll is for individuals to exercise good judgement in the millions of instant decisions they need to make when driving, walking and cycling.

"Everyone will be invited to offer their ideas through a series of meetings around the country. I hope all sections of the community will participate, especially young people."

Road traffic crashes result in more years of life lost than any other source of injury in New Zealand. They are the leading cause of death to children --- 45 percent of deaths in the 0 to14 year age group. Road traffic crashes are also the leading cause of disability for people aged 15 to 44, putting a tremendous burden on the health system.

"I know older people are often very keen to participate in consultation processes, and certainly have a lot to contribute. The learning opportunity for policy makers can be lost, however, if we don't hear from all sections of society, particularly young people.

"Young people are disproportionately represented in road statistics and policy makers need to understand better the attitudes and concerns of young people."
Ideas and information gathered at the nationwide meetings will be analysed and used to develop a series of proposals for the Government to consider.

People who wish to participate can find further information on the Ministry of Transport website www.transport.govt.nz


ENDS

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