The cross-government National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) supports the call for a Decade of Action for Road Safety and says the Safer Journeys action plan, released today by the Minister of Transport, is an important step towards a safer road system for New Zealand.
"Death and serious injury should not be an inevitable part of road use. With this action plan, we can keep up momentum in improving road safety across our whole road system and make sure New Zealand is doing its part towards a Decade of Action for Road Safety," says NRSC Convenor and Ministry of Transport CE Martin Matthews.
The NRSC was involved in the development of the action plan, which builds on the Safer Journeys strategy. The plan sets out a Safe System approach to road safety with actions over the next two years for safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds, safe vehicles and safe road use.
The NRSC is made up of government agencies that have a role in road safety, and includes the Ministry of Transport, the NZ Transport Agency, Police, ACC and Local Government New Zealand. These agencies will now be working to carry out actions.
NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield says the NZTA is working on many fronts to achieve a safe road system in New Zealand.
"We look at all parts of the system, refusing to accept that any road death is inevitable. A good example is the work we're doing to increase the safety of motorcyclists by introducing new licensing requirements, running new practical training courses, upgrading popular but high-risk motorcycle routes, and working in partnership with ACC and the new Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council."
ACC CEO Dr Jan White says ACC is committed to road safety and the Safer Journeys strategy.
"ACC sees first-hand the impact of road crashes, which each year cost ACC over $400 million on emergency care, treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. We care about the people injured and those impacted by fatalities on our roads, and will support the actions outlined in the strategy", says Dr White.
Police National Manager - Road Policing, Superintendent Paula Rose, says Police will continue to enforce the road laws but the emphasis on a safer system provides an opportunity to look beyond driver error and to consider all the factors which can work together to make each journey safer.
In addition, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) will be working with its members to implement steps at a local level.
Improving road safety is something that everyone can contribute to and the NRSC urges all New Zealanders to play a part and ensure safety is a priority when it comes to the roads.
The Safer Journeys action plan is available at www.saferjourneys.govt.nz(external link).