New Zealand Road Toll Is One Of The Highest In The OECD - Govt Needs To Let The Current Speed Management Run Its Course
Aotearoa (New Zealand) was in the process of improving its speed management with the Land Transport Rule to make roads safer. In comes the new Government who want to get rid of this process and increase speed limits. Instead they should give it time to see if the results are making roads safer.
According to Simeon Brown the new Minister of Transport: “Our coalition Government wants to see a transport system that boosts productivity and economic growth and allows New Zealanders to get to where they want to go, faster and safer.”
“Faster is only safer if your are trying to outrun a lion,” says Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds who advocates for consistent 30km/h speed limits outside all schools. “The faster you drive, the more likely you or the person you run in to, will die. The more people who die on our roads, the worse the economy will be, as each road death can cost the country about NZ$5 million.
The OECD International Transport Forum shows Aotearoa has one of the worst road fatality figures per capita in the world and the last government was addressing this, if too slowly. Norway a country with a similar population to ours is leading the way in road safety with 80 road deaths recorded in 2021 in comparison to Aotearoa where there were 318 road deaths. (https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/irtad-road-safety-annual-report-2022.pdf)
In 2018 Ms Rees was part of the road safety strategy reference group, where the Wake Kotahi (Ministry of Transport) was looking to outline the steps New Zealand would take to meaningfully reduce deaths and serious injuries over the preceding decade. A lot of work went into this group to make roads safer, advised by top road safety experts and now any benefits gained could be wasted.
We need to learn from Norway and make roads safer not faster. Please let the Land Transport Rule be. Meri Kirihimete and drive safe over the holidays.