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New KiwiRAP ratings show state highways getting safer

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New Zealand's state highways have had a significant reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes and become safer over the last five years, a KiwiRAP report released today shows.

KiwiRAP is a partnership between the NZ Transport Agency, the NZ Automobile Association, Ministry of Transport, ACC and NZ Police, and produces reports evaluating nearly 11,000km of New Zealand’s state highways. It is an internationally recognised road assessment programme that aims to identify state highways where crash risks are highest, so that safety improvements can be better targeted.

The results show encouraging improvement in the state highway network, although there is still more work to do.

  • The state highway network accounts for more than half of New Zealand’s road fatalities.
  • Nationally, there has been a 15% reduction in fatal and serious crashes on New Zealand’s state highways for the 2007-2011 period compared to 2002-2006.
  • The proportion of the state highway network classified as high risk, in terms of total fatal and serious injury crashes, has dropped from 7% to 4% (down from 806km in length to 393km).
  • Conversely the proportion of the network classified as ‘low risk’, in terms of total fatal and serious injury crashes, has increased from 29% to 41% (up from 3169km to 4409km).

NZTA General Manager Strategy and Performance Ernst Zollner said overall the results were encouraging.

“KiwiRAP data has helped us to identify high-risk roads and target our safety improvements where they will save the most lives and prevent the most serious injuries. The results show that this strategy is working.

“The Government’s Safer Journeys strategy has set us a clear vision of creating a road system increasingly free of serious injuries and deaths by 2020. Improving the safety of roads and roadsides is a key focus for Safer Journeys, and KiwiRAP is helping us make it a reality.” 
Mr Zollner said targeted safety improvements had contributed to a 30% fall in fatal and serious crashes on the lengths of highway that had been identified as having a high collective risk in the previous KiwiRAP risk maps.

AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon welcomed the results.

“These results show some good progress in New Zealand’s highways becoming safer,” said Mr Noon.

”It is vital that we continue to make these roads safer and more forgiving of people’s mistakes.

“KiwiRAP also helps drivers and riders recognise that all roads are not equal. If you know you are on a higher risk stretch of road you can adjust your driving or riding to take even more care.”

”In terms of ‘personal risk’ which takes into account the kilometres driven on the same lengths of road,  the proportion of the state highway network classified as high or medium-high risk has dropped from 46% to 31% (down from 4965km in length to 3,381km).”

The latest risk ratings and crash data for all (80+km/h) state highways around the country and information on how they have changed since the previous time period are available at www.kiwirap.org.nz(external link)

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
T: 04 4 894 6285
M: 021 2763 222
E: andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

Mike Noon
General Manager: Motoring Affairs
New Zealand Automobile Association
T: 04 931 9984
M: 021 659 704
E: mnoon@aa.co.nz

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