$1.4 billion spending announced to make roads safer, reduce deaths

Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter have announced a $1.4 billion, three-year programme to make New Zealand’s highest risk roads safer. They haven’t said where the money is coming from.

The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kilometres of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening.

The programme will target an estimated $600 to $700 million of state highway safety improvements and $700 to 800 million of local road safety improvements. Once complete, the improvements are expected to prevent 160 deaths and serious injuries every year.

Phil Twyford said the Safe Network Programme will build urgent safety improvements on our roads at scale and pace over the next three years to save lives.

he Safe Network Programme is just one part of the Transport Agency’s safety programme. The Transport Agency continues to invest in a wide range of programmes delivered across the safety spectrum including road safety maintenance, advertising and education, road policing, active modes and public transport, all of which support improved safety outcomes.

Safety improvements in Safe Network Programme will include:

  • fixing dangerous corners
  • installing roadside and median safety barriers
  • shoulder widening
  • further safety improvements for high risk intersections
  • rumble strips
  • improving skid resistance
  • improving rail level crossing safety
  • setting safe and appropriate speed limits.

Safe Network Programme - national map

That suggests the new safety measures will prevent 160 deaths and serious injuries per year, a significant number but less than half the current road toll.

Julie Anne Genter said, “our Government believes it is unacceptable for anyone to be killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

“Annual road deaths in New Zealand increased from 253 just a few years ago in 2013, to 378 last year. The number of serious injuries increased from 2,020 to 2,836 per year over the same period.

“No other industry accepts hundreds of people dying each year as normal. No person I know thinks losing a loved one in a crash is an acceptable price to pay for living in a modern society – that’s why we’re making safety a priority.”

Earlier this year Genter said the Government was looking at introducing a zero road death policy by 2020. Stuff: Government looks at targeting zero road deaths and serious injuries from 2020

The Government will look at introducing a zero road death policy by 2020 as it strives to curb the country’s “unacceptable” road toll.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter made the announcement at the local government road safety summit in Wellington on Monday, telling guests local and central government needed to work together to make the ambition a reality.

“We need a new [road safety] strategy. We need a clear idea of the outcomes we want and the steps we need to take to get there,”

“I believe this is a transformational Government. It is a Government that can set ambitious targets, whether on child poverty, on climate change, or road safety.”

“Clear, truly ambitious targets drive policy and help deliver meaningful change. That’s why this Government will investigate adopting a target of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

While the target could be considered “audacious”, all road deaths and serious injuries were avoidable, and New Zealanders had become “desensitised” to the rising casualties, Genter said.

The Government would also no longer refer to the “road toll”, instead referring to “road deaths” to acknowledge the people who had lost their lives and the fact road deaths were not inevitable.

There was no mention of the zero deaths in yesterday’s announcement.

More information about the Safe Network Programme, including a map: www.nzta.govt.nz/safe-network-programme

Leave a comment

40 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  17th December 2018

    Motorways are by far the safest and fastest roads because they eliminate head on collusions and the frustration of a slow vehicle holding up a long queue.

    Naturally then this Government has canned the development of them and will now b.s. while reducing speed limits instead.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th December 2018

      So why did the road toll increase sharply in the last few years of national when those motorways opened up ?

      Reply
      • Reply
        • Gezza

           /  17th December 2018

          “Julie Anne Genter
          @JulieAnneGenter
          Yes sorry, that through me too.”
          😐
          Is she American or something? o_O

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  17th December 2018

        Traffic always increases with a good economy. Are you waiting for Labour to stuff that too?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  17th December 2018

          Also tourism has boomed and a lot of them are lousy drivers and prone to head on collisions off motorways.

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  17th December 2018

          As Genter said …”The rate has gone up significantly more than population or vehicle kilometres travelled in the last 5 years”

          read the bit that says ‘ vehicle -kilometres travelled’, its a measure of more vehicles and more kilometers

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  17th December 2018

        There have been a lot of fatalities in Northland but none that I can recall on the new Puhoi motorway extension. Likewise in Auckland and the Waikato I think.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  17th December 2018

          The money definitely was diverted from the regional state highway and local roads improvements to pay for the RONs. Even the manawatu gorge bypass in 2012 was dropped in favour of the cheaper make do with the existing road -now closed.

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  17th December 2018

          Something like Transmission gully and the new 4 lane roads north of Wellington to Otaki would in in the region of $2 bill , say. How many deaths were on those State highways. 3 or 4 a year ?
          Now $2 bill spent on 100 accident blackspots with a very generous $20 mill average ( some could be more others less) could be saving 20-50 lives per year, because they are targetted where we know the accidents happen.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  17th December 2018

            It’s stupid to say that all deaths are avoidable. I know someone who had something lock for no reason and he sailed through oncoming traffic on a main road. It wasn’t the brakes, it was something else. But he was lucky to be alive to tell the tale. What about blowouts ? There are many things that are nobody’s fault.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  17th December 2018

              Why are you worried about very minor things? Just the other there was a big fuss about a young woman , after drinking and smoking dope hit a young boy on his bike and didn’t stop. These are the things that are very preventable and concern the general public the most

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  17th December 2018

              I don’t regard road deaths as minor things.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  17th December 2018

              Vehicle issues account for 9% of fatal crashes. It may seem very minor to you, it doesn’t to me. That’s what ? about 40 deaths ? Hardly ‘very minor’.

              Yes, the hit and run was despicable. and I have no idea why she wasn’t charged with failing to stop, failing to ascertain if the victim was injured or killed and not reporting the crash rather than careless driving. I suppose that it would be impossible to prove the drink and drugs so long afterwards.

              But that doesn’t make the other people’s deaths less tragic.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  17th December 2018

            If it costs so little to fix the black spots why don’t they do it as well as the motorways? If they really believed their value of life estimates it would be a paying proposition to borrow money to do it. Of course they don’t except when it suits them.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  17th December 2018

        Ok, I officially call b.s. on your claim, Duker:

        Reply
  2. Duker

     /  17th December 2018

    An issue with the commentary here
    “That suggests the new safety measures will save 160 lives per year”

    Thats not what is being said, its ‘lives and serious injuries’. Its repeated a couple of times , so no excuse for the slip up.

    Reply
    • That was a slip up, now corrected. I didn’t take enough care in reading the graphic when I added it. Not an excuse but I’ve had a busy morning dealing with a number of things alongside posting, and I don’t have an editor (apart from help from the community here).

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  17th December 2018

        Same goes for the this comment “There was no mention of the zero deaths in yesterday’s announcement.”
        The phrase is Vision Zero.
        A Journey not a destination.
        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108872292/vision-zero-lifesaving-median-barriers-coming-to-a-road-near-you
        What was announced is exactly what they had in mind in ‘Vision Zero’
        Or as the goverment put it
        “The Government has announced the development of a new road safety strategy for New Zealand, replacing the current Safer Journeys strategy, which ends in 2020. It will outline the steps New Zealand will take to meaningfully reduce deaths and serious injuries over the coming decade.
        As part of the development of the strategy, the Government will investigate adopting the ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road safety thinking, which would set a long-term objective of eliminating deaths on our roads.
        https://www.transport.govt.nz/multi-modal/keystrategiesandplans/road-safety-strategy/

        Did any one even know the previous government had a ‘Safer Journeys’ strategy let alone did anything about it .
        That includes nationals last Transport Minister Simon Bridges (2014-2017)

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  17th December 2018

          How are they going to stop people having heart attacks, strokes etc and causing crashes ?

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  17th December 2018

            Medical events are mostly rare. If that was our biggest problem we wouldn’t worry about it…

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  17th December 2018

              You might worry about it if you were hit and injured. You wouldn’t brush it off as rare if your family was wiped out by someone who’d had a ‘medical event’. The other people are just as dead as if the driver was drunk or hooning.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  17th December 2018

              Duker, the New YNZ Official Troll.

  3. duperez

     /  17th December 2018

    I heard part on a J A Genter interview this morning.

    We can have the best vehicles in the world and the ‘safest’ roads in the world but we are destined to have deficient people driving.

    Drugged drunken unseatbelted thick daredevil lunatics will always kill themselves and others. If we had wide wide roads, no face to face traffic and vehicles enclosed in metre thick padding the road toll would drop dramatically but many would still die on the roads.

    Mentioning zero deaths as it was previously was silly of course. Brave and appropriate, but silly.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th December 2018

      Compare with Victoria in Australia
      for 2018 to date they have 198 , which is down 27% on last year ( 237)

      in NZ ? we are at 357
      https://www.transport.govt.nz/resources/road-safety-resources/road-deaths/

      For the numbers by regions- no its not the more tourists in Otago /Southland as those are down

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  17th December 2018

        I’d like to see the ad with ‘good old Murray’ who’s a hard worker and works even harder when a rival firm starts up, just makes it to family things, even if he’s a bit late and goes to sleep at the wheel because he’s so exhausted. The end of the ad was terrifying; it didn’t need to be graphic, we could imagine it.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  17th December 2018

        Roads, traffic types, and environment in Victoria is very different to that in NZ. Unless you break it down into the various dimensions, any comparison is largely meaningless.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  17th December 2018

          Yes, the comparison by the international road quality project showed that our increased casualty rates were fully accounted for by our lousy road standards. Hilly terrain and high rainfalls don’t help those.

          Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  17th December 2018

    Listen to Goldsmith take a stropping from Guyon on this issue:
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018675894

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  17th December 2018

      Righto. Hang on.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  17th December 2018

        Well, Goldsmith handled that well, especially at the end. Guyon’s quite good sometimes at getting interviewees to provide more details that actually make their case – or at least clearly explain their differences in priority. A problem I had with that interview was neither of them citing any statistics to back or dispute Guyons [effective] claim that putting in barrier posts & cables will save more lives overall than would be saved putting in safer-design four-lane highways. I support doing more about safety on roads generally. Goldsmith made the very point that fatalities are caused by many factors including alcohol, poor driving, failure to wear seat belts etc and that needs to be born into mind when road fatality numbers are thrown around by politicians as though they’re all down to the road, not the driver.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  17th December 2018

          BCR for a dome valley 4 lane highway would be abysmal. Meanwhile the rest of Northland roads would get SFA.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  17th December 2018

            I bet the BCR for the extension to Puhoi has far outstripped its estimate with the developments out to Matakana it has facilitated. The extension to Warkworth will be the same.

            Queensland was the poster child for infrastructure development creating posperity. Victoria was the poster child for safety nuroses producing stagnation.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  18th December 2018

              Urban sprawl eventually resulting in ‘Megalopolis Auckland’ is a ‘cost’ Alan, not a benefit …

              Seems like a sensible, realistic and equitable plan from Labour-led …

  5. duperez

     /  17th December 2018

    I listened to the Goldsmith interview. When you’re the Opposition you have to oppose. Fair enough, that’s to be expected. You have to sound like you’re not grizzling for the sake of it though, not just saying something to simply be opposing.

    Good that Goldsmith talked about Dome Valley. It suggests that the last few years have made a mark regarding Northland. We exist. So much so that that programme should’ve got a considerably bigger slice of the ‘investment’ at the loss to other projects elsewhere in the country.

    Which makes his whole approach weird. He thinks there’s too much emphasis on safety rather than ease of getting around or whatever, so he wants a Dome Valley expressway so we can go 110kph like they do in the Waikato, and in the meantime people will get killed in other places because we used the money which would’ve made their roads safer.

    I think I understand the case he was trying to make but if you’re going to bark at the postman, bark like you mean it. Then again maybe he wanted the Northland project to go ahead to its fullest extent, and all others through the country to the fullest extent and then his supporters could’ve bitched about overspending.

    Reply
    • Griff.

       /  17th December 2018

      Problem with the dome is its unstable steep and narrow with the only alternative route two hours longer .
      It regularly gets closed by accidents .
      https://i.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/91385481/dome-valley-one-of-the-deadliest-roads-in-the-north-island
      .
      SH1 needs to be a lot better than it is. The cost of upgrading the present route would be better spent on an alternative route with more stable geology, straighter with better grades.

      Half the NZ population lives north of Kawhia with the median shifting north by 2 km a year .. Auckland Northland and the Wiakato are the fasted growing regions in the country.
      We dont are fair share of the NZ road funding up here .

      Reply
  1. $1.4 billion spending announced to make roads safer, reduce deaths — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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