Road To Zero Action Plan Backed By Regional Committee
A high-level action plan to reduce the region’s road-related fatalities and serious injury crashes has been endorsed by Waikato’s regional transport committee.
Committee chair and Waikato regional councillor Hugh Vercoe said transport safety remains an ongoing problem in the region.
“Everyone should expect to arrive safely from every journey and feel safe regardless of how they choose to get around,” he said. “That’s why we are committed to working together to achieve a bold vision of accessible journeys free of deaths and serious injuries.
“Everyone who touches on our transport sector – from a road user to those who design and operate our roads – has the ability to influence our regional priorities, programme development and long-term outcomes.
“Achieving the road to zero in the Waikato will take consistent focus, collaboration, determination, funding and, above all, leadership,” Cr Vercoe said.
The Road to Zero for the Waikato 2020 has been developed over the past 12 months by the Regional Road Safety Forum, with feedback incorporated from partners and stakeholders on priorities beyond 2020.
The strategy uses the ‘safe system’ methodology to identify the key focus areas for road safety. It sets the policy framework and a plan of action to be implemented across the region over the next three years and also defines the work that will need to happen over the medium term in order to best position the region for the future.
In the year to 27 September, 231 people have died on New Zealand’s roads, with 42 of these in the Waikato region, representing 18 per cent. This is the lowest number of fatalities for the region in the year to date from the last five years.
Lack of seatbelt use has been a major contributor to deaths with an estimated 9 of the 42 Waikato fatalities affected by this, most commonly young men in rural environments – which matches the research. Research in 2017 showed that up to 30 per cent of car crash fatalities involved people not wearing a seat belt.
The Regional Road Safety Forum is a multi-agency stakeholder group established in 2016 comprising agencies with a significant interest in improving the road safety outcomes for the Waikato.
The forum is mandated by the regional transport committee to lead the regional road safety programme.
The forum’s membership includes representatives from all territorial authorities in the Waikato region, as well as partner agencies such as Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, New Zealand Police, ACC, district health boards, national road carriers, Students Against Dangerous Driving and CCS Disability Action.
‘Road to Zero’ – the national road safety strategy 2020-2030 – has taken the world-leading ‘Vision Zero’ approach, which states that no death or serious injury while travelling on our roads is acceptable.
‘Road to Zero’ also identifies five focus areas to prioritise efforts – infrastructure and speed management; vehicle safety; work-related road safety; road user choices; and system management.