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Transport Agency to publish GPS speed data for fleet vehicles

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The NZ Transport Agency is to regularly publish information on travel speeds recorded by GPS units fitted to vehicles in the agency’s corporate fleet, following the release earlier today of GPS speed data from October 2014 to June 2015 to the New Zealand Herald in response to a request made under the Official Information Act http://www.nzta.govt.nz/oia-gps

Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield says following an upgrade of the Transport Agency’s pool vehicle fleet in 2014, including the installation of GPS units in most of its 147 fleet vehicles, a concerning number of cases have been recorded involving Transport Agency staff travelling at speeds in excess of 100km/h.

The agency is committing to publishing the same data on a six monthly basis going forward in order to encourage safe driving by its staff, and to demonstrate transparency and accountability for the organisation’s role in road safety advocacy.    

“Our clear expectation is that our people will drive at safe speeds at all times. Safe travel speeds are a fundamental part of the safe transport system which the Transport Agency and our road safety partners are working hard to create for all New Zealanders.

“When our own people drive at unsafe speeds it not only compromises their own safety, it also put other road users at risk, and it potentially undermines our role as a road safety advocate. Road safety is part of our DNA as an organisation – it is a core value of the Transport Agency and we need to model the driving behaviour which we are asking other New Zealanders to adopt, it’s as simple as that.”

Mr Dangerfield says that while most travel in Transport Agency vehicles is at safe speeds within legal limits, since the agency began recording data in October last year there have been a significant number of instances where GPS units in company vehicles have recorded speeds in excess of the open road limit of 100 km/h, including a handful of cases involving speeds of more than 140km/h.

“That would be a serious concern for any employer, but it is simply unacceptable for an organisation like ours with a mandate to promote road safety and safer speeds. We need to ensure that our people go home safe and well every day, and when it comes to safe driving we need to lead by example and hold ourselves to the highest standard.”  

The limitations of the GPS technology currently installed in the agency’s fleet vehicles do not allow for recording of travel speeds in comparison with speed limits lower than 100km/h, and the data reported is limited to speeds in excess of 100km/h.

The GPS units record speed data continuously, with data reported in 500 metre travel segments. The speed data reported is for the highest speed reached during each 500 metres of travel. If a vehicle exceeds 100km/h at any point during a 500 metre travel segment it is recorded as a ‘speeding instance’. This means that a single trip by a single driver where speeds exceed the 100km/h speed limit by any amount may account for multiple recorded instances of speeding.

The GPS data on ‘speeding instances’ of more than 100km/h from the Transport Agency’s fleet is outlined in the table below.

 

 

101-110km/h

111-120km/h

121-130km/h

131-140km/h

141-150km/h

Total over 100km/h

% over 110km/h

% over 120km/h

Oct-14

24,507

1,376

97

15

1

25,996

5.7%

0.4%

Nov-14

32,720

1,420

104

4

2

34,250

4.5%

0.4%

Dec-14

17,366

761

55

5

0

18,187

4.5%

0.3%

Jan-15

13,772

715

99

11

0

14,597

5.7%

0.8%

Feb-15

19,410

892

114

25

1

20,442

5.0%

0.6%

Mar-15

25,514

931

160

36

4

26,645

4.3%

0.8%

Apr-15

22,999

587

69

7

0

23,662

2.8%

0.3%

May-15

23,131

699

91

16

0

23,937

3.4%

0.5%

Jun-15

23,792

754

68

10

0

24,624

3.4%

0.3%

Total

203,211
(95.7%)

8,135
(3.8%)

857
(0.4%)

129
(0.06%)

8
(0.004%)

212,340

4.3%

0.5%

Mr Dangerfield says while no travel at speeds over legal limits by staff is condoned, it is also important to put the GPS data in context. More than half (53 per cent) of all the speeding instances recorded by GPS units have been for speeds of 101km/h or 102km/h, less than five percent have been for speeds over 110km/h, and less than half of one percent have been for speeds over 120km/h.

Data from the GPS units shows that from October to June Transport Agency fleet vehicles travelled more than 1.76 million kilometres, with only a small fraction of that travel distance (0.2%) involving speeds higher than 110km/h.

Mr Dangerfield says the Transport Agency has reminded all staff of the need to travel at safe speeds at all times, and several staff had been spoken to individually in relation to specific cases of driving at unsafe speeds. The Transport Agency has also recently updated its corporate safe driving policy to provide an additional emphasis on safe speeds.

“We are making sure that every one of our people clearly understands our expectations in this area, and we are also committed to providing the right environment to allow our people to look after their own safety behind the wheel. That includes setting realistic work schedules and allowing adequate time for people to travel between different locations for work, providing opportunities for driver training, and providing our people with safe and well maintained vehicles.”

Mr Dangerfield says the Transport Agency is committed to ensuring that its fleet vehicles are driven safely at all times.

“This is an organisation that is passionate about making travel safer for everyone in New Zealand. Our people come to work every day with the aim of reducing crashes, saving lives and preventing serious injuries. That includes encouraging safer speeds on our roads, and New Zealanders can be confident that we will lead by example and be accountable for our actions.” 

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