Fewer transport incidents and other harms - Decreasing the rates of transport-related death and injury, and other harms.

The government has a strong commitment to delivering a safer transport system. Road safety is an important part of this because of the social cost of transport deaths and injuries, and the human cost that results from the number of deaths and injuries NewZealand suffers each year on its roads. 

The government released the Safer Journeys road safety strategy in March 2010. There have been two action plans published to date; the first for 2011-12 and the second for 2013-15. These documents set out the government’s vision for ‘a safe road system that is increasingly free of serious injury and death’. They include the new comprehensive Safe System approach to improving safety on our roads over the next decade.

The government also recognises that, through its investment and other decisions, it can help to decrease the level of other harms from the transport system.

The Ministry’s role in reducing transport incidents and other harms

The Ministry seeks to reduce the rates of transport-related deaths and injuries through its policy advice to government across the transport modes. The Ministry’s road safety policy advice covers the four dimensions of the Safe System:

  • safe roads and roadsides
  • safe speeds
  • safe vehicles
  • safe road use.

The Safe System approach differs from traditional approaches to road safety. Rather than always blaming the road user for causing a crash, it recognises that even responsible people sometimes make mistakes in their road use. Given that mistakes are inevitable, we need safe roads and safe vehicles to protect people from death or serious injury.

The Ministry led the development of the Safer Journeys road safety strategy, and coordinated the development of the two action plans across a number of agencies for the National Road Safety Committee. The 2013-15 action plan focuses on speed management, ensuring blood alcohol concentration limits appropriately reflect driver risk, drug driving impairment and vehicle safety. The Ministry is leading the implementation of the overall programme, as well as having direct responsibility for a number of actions in the plan.

The Ministry also continues to build its data resource on road safety issues to increasingly enable evidence-based advice to be provided to the government.

The Ministry provides policy advice on various issues that helps to reduce environmental and health harms from the transport system.

To reduce the harms from the transport system, the Ministry will:

  • continue to implement its Safer Journeys actions.

Fewer transport incidents and other harms – what we intend to achieve

The Ministry’s intended impacts in this area over the next four years, and the projects and activities that will deliver them, include the following:

Impact 7: Ministry road safety initiatives support a reduction in the number of deaths and serious injuries

Safer Journeys

The Ministry will implement its actions under the Safer Journeys Action Plan 2013-15. These are actions that require a joint approach and wider partnerships to be successful.

The Ministry will, as part of a dedicated multi-agency group, develop and implement a national speed management programme.

We will advise government on options to reduce drug impairment by moving NewZealand towards a robust, cost-effective approach to random roadside drug screening and testing, as soon as practicable and justified. This will be done by strengthening the current regime, building on existing research, undertaking further research and closely monitoring the effectiveness of drugged driving enforcement techniques internationally. 

Improving the quality of the vehicle fleet

The Ministry will develop advice to government on options to improve the quality of the vehicle fleet. We will take into account the nature of the current fleet, technological developments, market trends, international experience and social impacts. Over time, this will lead to cost effective policy measures that will see gradual improvements to safety, efficiency and levels of pollution from vehicles.

Ministry work that helps reduce other harms from transport

The Ministry will continue to contribute to the whole-of-government climate change response, including advising government on the form and level of its binding commitment from 2020 and, more specifically, on the implications for the transport sector. In addition, it will continue to contribute to the responses of the International Maritime Organisation and the International Civil Aviation Organisation to climate change.

Fewer transport incidents and other harms – How performance will be assessed

Outcome measures

Reduced social cost resulting from transport-related deaths and injuries.

Social cost of road crashes excluding non-injury crash costs ($ billions) in June 2012 prices

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

   

3.75

3.70

3.16

3.19

2.93

Reduced number of road-related deaths.

Road deaths

385

375

284

308

254

 

There were 254 road deaths in 2013, the lowest toll in over 60 years. Changes are best viewed over a number of years to mitigate the impact of one-off influences.

Decreased amounts of carbon dioxide emitted from domestic.

Carbon dioxide (grams) emitted per kilometre of road travel

2002

2002

2004

2006

2008

2012

   

366

366

385

375

284

308

Impact measures – Ministry road safety initatives support reduction in number of deaths and serious injuries

Reduced number of road-related deaths for target groups, where Ministry will initiate specific initiatives to reduce:

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

deaths in crashes involving young drivers

135

147

90

87

81

deaths in crashes involving alcohol/drug-impaired drivers

142

144

87

102

78

deaths in crashes involving high-risk drivers

129

122

Data not available

Data not available

Data not available

Reduced number of road-related serious injuries for target groups, where Ministry will initiate specific initiatives to reduce:

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

serious injuries in crashes involving young drivers

1,026

979

885

713

704

serious injuries in crashes involving alcohol/drug-impaired drivers

613

585

557

470

468

serious injuries in crashes involving high-risk drivers

566

520

491

 

Data not available

 

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