The Local Government Road Safety Summit has identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.
“I was very encouraged by the overwhelming support among mayor and councillors for more action to be taken to prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” Ms Genter says.
“The fact that we had so many mayors and councillors participating shows that rising road deaths and injuries is a pressing issue in many New Zealand communities.
“The summit allowed me to hear directly about the specific challenges that different communities and regions around the country are facing.
“Some of the main messages I heard from local government were that:
• central government should set clear national and regional road safety targets to reduce deaths and injuries;
• there is strong support for investigating a ‘Vision Zero’ approach, to make safety a bottom line in transport investment;
• greater funding assistance is needed for safety projects generally;
• we need simpler processes to implement low-cost safety improvements and enable targeted changes to speeds limits; and
• we need to improve the safety of cycling and walking, particularly for children.
“I have already asked my officials to start investigating how these and other ideas that were recorded can be progressed.
“Some of the ideas should be able to be implemented fairly quickly as part of this year’s work programme, while others will be considered as part of the development of a new road safety strategy.
“Officials will publish a report in the coming weeks outlining how ideas and priorities identified at the summit will be progressed by central government,” said Ms Genter.