Deaths and serious injuries on the road are not inevitable


Mistakes on the road are inevitable, but deaths and serious injuries aren’t.

That’s the message behind a new campaign launched today aimed at building public awareness and demand for the changes needed to drive deaths and serious injuries down on the road towards zero.

“New Zealand’s Road to Zero strategy is based on the belief that no-one deserves to die or be seriously injured on our roads, even when they make mistakes. The strategy adopts a long-term vision of no deaths or serious injuries on our roads by 2050, and Government has set a specific interim target for 2030 as part of the strategy - to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 40 percent compared to 2018 levels. Reaching that target is possible with the right measures to make every part of the transport system safer – roads, vehicles, speeds and road users,” says Waka Kotahi Chief Executive Nicole Rosie.

Road to Zero

“Under Road to Zero we’re making roads and roadsides safer, using evidence-based tools to identify the best solutions in high-risk areas. That includes new roundabouts, median barriers, side barriers, widened centrelines and rumble strips. We’re working hard to get more New Zealanders into vehicles with high safety ratings, because these vehicles can help drivers avoid crashes and protect people when crashes do happen. 

“Safer speeds also have a huge role to play. When speeds are safe for the road, simple mistakes are less likely to end in tragedy, which is why Waka Kotahi and local authorities are identifying roads across the country where safer speed limits can make a significant and immediate difference in saving lives. And as individuals we all have a responsibility to follow the road rules, wear our seatbelts and avoid driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, or when distracted by our mobile phones,” Ms Rosie says.

NZ Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says Police is fully committed to supporting Road to Zero.

“The public can be confident we are ready with targeted and effective enforcement to play our part in delivering road safety targets for 2030 and beyond. This means doing all we can to prevent the pain, suffering and grief our officers see every day caused by preventable road crashes.

“People should expect to see us anytime, anywhere working to keep people safe on our roads. It’s what they deserve. Our road policing activities focus on the high-risk behaviours of ensuring drivers and their passengers are buckling up, not impaired by drugs and alcohol nor distracted, and enforcing speed limits.

“All of Police is committed to delivering the vision of zero deaths and working towards it with a clear plan and a hard target for 2030. We are progressing a range of initiatives to improve our performance and find new ways to deliver better outcomes through technology, equipment and tactics.

“Together, we can save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of injuries. Everyone has a part to play working towards a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

Road to Zero includes a significant programme of work planned for 2022 to keep Kiwis safer on the roads, including:

  • the ongoing roll-out of a large programme of road maintenance and safety improvements to roads all over the country
  • improved vehicle safety standards, a strengthened road safety partnership between Waka Kotahi and NZ Police
  • reviews of speed limits and the confirmation of a new speed limit setting rule with a focus on safe speeds around schools
  • developing and delivering a sustainable operating model for the rollout of new safety cameras, integrated  with safer speed limits and targeting high risk areas of the system
  • the commencement of a Ministerial Oversight Group to co-ordinate Government action in support of Road to Zero
  • the final stage of the Accessible Streets regulatory package to improve pedestrian safety
  • a review of fines and penalties
  • the finalisation of drug-driving legislation.



Road to Zero explainer video 


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