Genter acknowledges road toll reality

Last April Green MP and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter suggested an ambitious (and unrealistic) target “As part of the development of a new road safety strategy the Government will investigate setting a target of zero road deaths.” See Zero car target for zero road toll, or zero credibility?

After a year as a Minister she now sounds more realistic. NZ Herald:  It will be ‘many decades’ before the road toll is substantially reduced, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter

It will be “many decades” before New Zealand sees a substantial change in the road toll, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

Her comments come after New Zealand experienced its highest road toll since 2009, with almost 400 deaths last year.

Genter said the Government was in the process of implementing its road safety strategy – a strategy she said would save lives.

But this would take time, she said.

“The reality is these things take time and [there’s] a huge amount of road upgrades that need to be completed.”

In December last year, the Government committed $1.4 billion to making roads safer.

The policy, called the Safe Network Programme, aims to make 870km of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening.

That policy strategy will be in place in 2020, but Genter said it would be a process of “many decades to substantially bring down deaths and serious injuries on our roads”.

“We’re talking about road deaths and serious injury having increased over a five year period. It took time for that to start happening, it’s going to take time for it to turn around as well.”

In 2007, the road toll climbed to 421 people – that figure fell to 253 in 2013 before going back up to 382 last year.

In terms of how long it would take to bring the road toll back down, Genter said the Government would be working on setting those targets.

“The targets haven’t been set exactly, but we’re making the improvements to the roads and we’re building up safer speeds. I want to see this happen as soon as possible but we live in a democracy so there are certain approaches we have to take.

“But the quicker we can roll out safer speeds, the sooner we will see a reduction in deaths and serious injuries.”

We keep putting ourselves at risk of road deaths and injuries – for most of it travelling by road is the most risk thing we do apart from consumption of too much food, alcohol and drugs. People who are not at fault are at risk.

But the reality that Genter now acknowledges is that will take a significant amount of time and money to reduce the road toll to any sustainable extent.

But it is much better than it has been, despite a much bigger population and many more vehicles on the roads.

The New Zealand road toll peaked in 1973 at 843, a horrendous year – the toll for the seventies:

  • 1969 – 570
  • 1970 – 655
  • 1971 – 677
  • 1972 – 713
  • 1973 – 843
  • 1974 – 676
  • 1975 – 628
  • 1976 – 609
  • 1977 – 702
  • 1978 – 654
  • 1979 – 554

Drink driving was a major factor then, before policing was increased.

It has dropped considerably since then, but has fluctuated:

  • 2010 – 375
  • 2011 – 284
  • 2012 – 308
  • 2013 – 253
  • 2014 – 293
  • 2015 – 319
  • 2016 – 327
  • 2017 – 378
  • 2018 – 380

While this is a lot lower than the seventies the rise is a concern,.

Stats: https://www.transport.govt.nz/mot-resources/road-safety-resources/road-deaths/annual-number-of-road-deaths-historical-information/

 

63 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  January 4, 2019

    I never got overly wound up about her zero road deaths target.

    JAG’s not stupid. That would never be achievable. I took her as obviously meaning it in the context that a target of zero road deaths should be the aim – i.e. if you adopted a zero road deaths target the relevant government agencies would be most likely to work hardest on measures to reduce it.

    • Gezza

       /  January 4, 2019

      it = the road toll

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 4, 2019

        She seems at times to be more interested in her baby, who comes to work with her and is fed during meetings than she is in doing what she’s paid to do. In theory her partner looks after little Joaquin, in practice it’s her at taxpayer’s expense. It’s hard to imagine any male MP doing this – or expecting to. It’s another case of a p/t politician on a f/t wage.

        • Gezza

           /  January 4, 2019

          Oh, that’s news to me. Where did you read this about her bringing bubs to meetings and feeding it there?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 4, 2019

            I came across a rather sick-making interview with her and she was telling all the details about his birth (far too much information, thank you) and upbringing. She seemed to see it as a right that women should be able to bring the baby to work and an achievement on her part. I disagree. Being an MP is far too responsible a job to be constantly interrupted by a baby needing to be fed or changed. It could well be a total turnoff for voters; it would be for me. As a taxpayer, I want my MP to be there working for their money, not looking after their own child. Nobody can be doing both. How unprofessional to have it being fed in meetings and probably stinking the place out afterwards. Does she change it or hand it over ?

            They had the selfies of her on the bike, looking like heaven knows what in an overstretched t-shirt. I will never know how anyone could be such a fool as to risk the baby’s life to make a point.

            • Gezza

               /  January 4, 2019

              As long as she makes a competent job of being a Cabinet Minister I don’t really care. Having a baby doesn’t exempt her from her responsibilities as a Cabinet Minister any more than it exempts men whose current spouses or current partners have babies.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 4, 2019

              I don’t see how she can be doing a full-time job, unless she’s being carried by other people.

              I have known several ministers fairly well, and know what hours they put in and what hard work it is. They couldn’t have been looking after a small child at the same time without one thing or the other suffering.

              She should work out what her priorities are.

            • Duker

               /  January 4, 2019

              At least she was big noting herself around China promoting her husband’s business on the the taxpayers dollar… Guess who got sacked for that

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 5, 2019

              If you mean Judith Collins, she wasn’t, and was cleared and reinstated. But lies are, alas, immortal.

  2. kluelis

     /  January 4, 2019

    I wonder how the road toll has been affected by better and quicker paramedical rescue cf ’73.
    . Still think reducing speed limit on the open road to 70 kph would help lower the toll significantly.

    • Duker

       /  January 4, 2019

      because its worked somewhere else. ?

      • kluelis

         /  January 4, 2019

        @Duker. “Because its worked somewhere else.?” Most people were suspicious of seat belts when they were first mooted.

        • Duker

           /  January 4, 2019

          Suspicous yes . But experts backed it and it was proven in tests. Your theory is widely championed by car and road safety experts surely

          Cities have lower speeds than highways , yet its ‘not really safer’
          More people killed/injured by not stopping at stop signs – which has nothing to do with speed.
          cell phones and other inattention , another thing that doesnt connect to speed.

    • Pink David

       /  January 4, 2019

      “Still think reducing speed limit on the open road to 70 kph would help lower the toll significantly.”

      How many people would die because of the slow speed of all transport?

      • kluelis

         /  January 4, 2019

        @Pink David. How many people would die because of the slow speed of all transport?
        None.

        • Pink David

           /  January 4, 2019

          You are a fool to think that. A reduction of speed of that magnitude has a major impact outside of what happens on the roads, which you are clearly blind to.

          • kluelis

             /  January 4, 2019

            Speed is a huge contributing factor in accidents because it exacerbates any other factor. If the speed limit was 50 kph no matter how bad the driving the chance of injury is greatly reduced.

            • Pink David

               /  January 4, 2019

              How can you be so blind?

            • Pink David

               /  January 4, 2019

              “If the speed limit was 50 kph no matter how bad the driving the chance of injury is greatly reduced.”

              Just to give you a nudge in the right direction, why stop at 80? Why not make the limit 0kph? Then you could be sure the toll is zero. Your goal is achieved!

            • Duker

               /  January 4, 2019

              Existing open road high risk areas have reduced speed anyway.

            • kluelis

               /  January 4, 2019

              Good. We need to get rid of the machoism in Kiwi driving.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 4, 2019

          Heaps would die. Travel would take so long and driving would be so boring even more people would fall asleep at the wheel and drive off the road or into a head on crash where the effective speed is doubled.

          • kluelis

             /  January 4, 2019

            People drive real slow in supermarket car parks. Yes there are a few scratches and bumps but few if any are killed in car parks. Just saying. It can be done. But it takes a shift in mindset. People would have to allow more travel time that’s all.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 4, 2019

              You have a major comprehension problem if you seriously think car park driving has any relevance whatever to the open road. Otherwise you are just trolling drivel.

    • PartisanZ

       /  January 4, 2019

      80kph on roads other than State Highways would be a great start IMHO …

      The ‘100’ signs on many provincial tar-sealed and gravel roads are like jokes … except that for some people they may be provocations …

      • Duker

         /  January 4, 2019

        Name one or provide a photo!

        • PartisanZ

           /  January 4, 2019

          Oh FFS … I could name dozens … possibly hundreds …

          The old road to Russell, West Coast Road Panguru to Mitimiti, Paponga Road, Humphrie’s Road, Herekino Road, SH1 through the Mangamukas …

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 4, 2019

            I had to laugh at a sign that had the speed limit and said ‘It’s not a target’. Someone had been unable to resist using it as one.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  January 4, 2019

            The old “open road” black diagonal bar was more appropriate. There are short segments where 100+ is safe and locals know them. Reducing the limit to 80 does nothing but create speed trap opportunities.

    • Rex Mangham

       /  January 4, 2019

      Kluelis: How about an increase in the skill level of drivers & the effective policing of bad driving instead of revenue gathering speed detection? I see so many basic driving errors in a short 20km run to work it beggars belief. We need to treat safe & courteous driving as everyone’s responsibility.

      • kluelis

         /  January 4, 2019

        Yes most NZ’s are good couteous drivers. But there is a cow boy, macho, casual element here which needs to be phased out. English drivers are very good where being courteous is a treasured and expected quality whereas in NZ courtesy is still seen as weak.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 4, 2019

          A lot of Poms are shockers at holding up a queue of traffic behind their slow driving and never pulling over. I don’t consider that courteous driving.

          • Gezza

             /  January 4, 2019

            Foreigners Al. The world seems to be full of the beggars and their strange ways. 😐

          • kluelis

             /  January 5, 2019

            That is not true a lot of Poms are not slow drivers. Simple rubbish to post an alternate point of view to mine. Are you always so childish? Trolling again Allan.

  3. Strong For Life

     /  January 4, 2019

    I think there are a number of things that could be done to lower the road toll. It looks like Ms Genter has realised her fatuous slogans and grandstanding mean little and will achieve less and she has given up. What a poor attitude for a Minister. Perhaps she should give up her ministerial warrants and let someone else have a go?

    • Duker

       /  January 4, 2019

      SfL , you remember of course Nationals road safety promise?
      “Safer Journeys ” – in case your memory is fading.
      https://www.saferjourneys.govt.nz/action-plans/

      Didnt say anything as it was just bulldust

      Things they did DO to save money,
      Reducing the numbers of traffic police in all but highest risk areas
      Reducing the numbers of police checking trucks

    • duperez

       /  January 4, 2019

      Fair enough, it’s politics so say a Minister is grandstanding using fatuous slogans.

      Following it with “she has given up” though beats her hands down for fatuousness.

  4. adamsmith1922

     /  January 4, 2019

    Population 1979 3,135,000 and 2017 4,747,000 deaths on road 1979 was 554, 2018 was 380 so deaths per 100,000 of population in 1979 was 17.67 and in 2018 was 8.00 . So there has in fact been a significant fall when measured against popoulation size.
    So before panic sets in let’s be more rational and less emotive.

    • Duker

       /  January 4, 2019

      That would normally be so .
      However we are more interested in the lastest numbers which are climbing again, which has exceeded the population increase/more cars/extra mileage.
      2011 – 284
      2012 – 308
      2013 – 253
      2014 – 293

      It doesnt surprise me at all that you are being irrational

      • kluelis

         /  January 4, 2019

        @Duker. A .05 rise this year over last year and .09 rise over 2010 is hardly a meteoric rise. Do you think you are being a tad irrational yourself Duker?

        • Duker

           /  January 4, 2019

          2011 – 284
          2012 – 308
          2013 – 253
          2014 – 293
          Average 285

          2015 – 319
          2016 – 327
          2017 – 378
          2018 – 380
          average 351

          Do you think is 23% rise -against the previous trend of falling- is nothing to be concerned about.
          yet more of your nutty ideas when reality doesnt come into it.

          • kluelis

             /  January 4, 2019

            There was a 0.05 increase between this year and last year proving there is nothing to worry about. You ranting wailing does not alter the fact that I am on point as usual.

  5. PartisanZ

     /  January 4, 2019

    The numerous measures announced by Labour-led in their Transport Strategy might begin to show results in 2019 …? I hope so.

    Weighed against these potential positives – improved road surfaces & provincial roads, median barriers, more passing lanes, better [esp HT] driver training etc etc – are lack of action regards the two Elephants in the Room: namely Alcohol and Poverty …

    • Duker

       /  January 4, 2019

      My opinion is one thats not mentioned so far will have the most effect – more police on road duties.
      national paid for its expensive new motorway/Rons by 2 things
      Increasing petrol tax by 9c + GST ( never mentioned at election time and slipped in 5 days before Xmas)
      shifting a substantial funding away from police enforcement ( paid out of transport budget) and the Minister of Transport who did this ? Simple Soimun.
      [Most direct result was a cut of one third in number of roadside breath tests]

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/348578/without-a-doubt-road-toll-linked-to-cuts

      • Duker

         /  January 4, 2019

        Bishop gets to lie about it all
        Mr Bishop said road deaths per capita and per car-on-the-road were actually trending down.

        However, Transport Agency figures showed that was NOT the case. Deaths per 100,000 people rose from 5.7 in 2013 to 7.8 in 2017. Deaths per 10,000 cars also rose from 0.8 in 2013 to 0.9 a year later, and remained steady through 2015 and 2016.

        I wonder what other things hes lied about Snapchat ?

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 4, 2019

      Poverty ??? How does being poor make someone a bad driver ?

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 4, 2019

        Good question … Poverty creates criminality … which expresses itself as anti-authority dangerous driving … often combined with alcohol in a deadly cocktail …

        Poverty also can lead to people driving unsafe vehicles …

        • Pink David

           /  January 4, 2019

          “Poverty creates criminality”

          This is demonstrability untrue.

          • PartisanZ

             /  January 4, 2019

            Demonstrabilitate it then …

            • Pink David

               /  January 4, 2019

              Sure. The places with the most poverty don’t have the most crime, nor criminality. You state a direct causation, yet there isn’t even a reasonable correlation.

              How about this instead; Criminality creates poverty

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 4, 2019

              That, incidentally, isn’t demonstrating it at all, it’s merely asserting it again more strongly …

            • Pink David

               /  January 4, 2019

              I’m going to say it again; if poverty creates criminality, then the poorest places would have the most crime.

              They do not.

              It’s also true that crime has fallen dramatically in the west in the last 3 decades. Your claim must mean that has been driven by a massive reduction in poverty.

          • Blazer

             /  January 4, 2019

            certaInly does..SA 60% black unemployment=CRIME.

            • Pink David

               /  January 4, 2019

              “SA 60% black unemployment=CRIME”

              The unemployment rate in 1994 was 35%
              It is 35% today.
              Yet, the murder rate has fallen from 80/100,000 to 35/100,000 in the same period.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 4, 2019

          Poverty doesn’t excuse them from having WOFs, and if they can afford that much alcohol, they can’t be really poor.

          The Christchurch boy racers don’t look like paupers.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 4, 2019

          That’s an excuse, not a reason.

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 4, 2019

        Excellent response to The Crusher from JAG …

        Crusher should really have said, ” … better to build ONE better, safer road …”

      • Duker

         /  January 4, 2019

        National decided against advice in 2011 to start a complete alternative route rebuild of the manawatu gorge Rd, instead they chose the cheaper ‘improve’ existing route. We ended up without existing route and $100 mill down the drain and an unsafe alternative route till rebuild is complete

        • PartisanZ

           /  January 4, 2019

          Duker, you do know what “complete alternative route rebuild” means put simply, don’t you?

          It’s the four letter word T .. O .. L .. L …