February 2014 - update on Safer Journeys action plan 2013 - 2015

Posted by on 27 February 2014 at 09:00


The four strategic actions aim to address the greatest challenges to creating a truly safe road system and are intended to be transformative. These are areas where progress has been slow, or where long standing barriers need to be removed. They require joint will, cross agency collaboration, reprioritisation of effort and investment and wider partnerships to be successful.

The four strategic actions are:

  • Develop and implement a safer speed programme
  • Undertake Safe System signature projects
  • Ensure that BAC limits reflect risk
  • Accelerating the exit of less safe vehicles

The National Road Safety Committee is leading the four strategic actions with assistance from partner agencies.

Speed management programme - update February 2014

During 2013, the speed management working group tested the broad approach of moving towards safer speeds that support economic productivity through a series of workshops with Road Controlling Authorities. These safer speeds would support the function, design and use of the roads.

Over the last few months we have completed a geospatially-based map of New Zealand that shows significant elements of One Network Road Classification, crashes and safety risk, and actual mean speeds derived from GPS data research. This will inform the next part of the process.  

The working group has also analysed a possible set of actions that can be used to deliver better speed management.  Some of these actions if adopted may be nationally implemented – others could be implemented through regional and/or local planning, investment and transport operations processes.

Update on development of public communications campaign

The speed debate is already changing slowly, but more work is planned to shift the public conversation and belief system about speed.  A planned new long-term campaign aims to encourage a different conversation on speed, creating awareness of the things people need to consider when choosing speeds, like roads and roadsides. The  campaign will aim to increase understanding that all roads aren’t created equal and that they aren’t as safe as we thought if someone makes a mistake, which will ultimately build demand for safer speeds.

How can I be involved?

If you have any questions or would like further information please email the Safer Journey’s Programme Coordinator at saferjourneys@transport.govt.nz with Speed Management in the subject line.

Signature programme - update February 2014

There are several projects in the development pipeline for the Signature programme at present.  The National Road Safety Committee has endorsed scoping of some additional projects including a project based in the South Island around improving road safety outcomes for road users by focusing on international visitors.  There is high interest in this  project and the team has begun to engage with potential local delivery partners for this project.  We have also commissioned some analysis of the road safety risks for tourists, which we expect to receive in March 2014. 

The signature programme expert group is meeting in March, and their discussion will focus mainly on contributing to the Eastern Bay of Plenty signature project interventions.

Eastern Bay of Plenty signature project

The Eastern Bay of Plenty signature project is now at investigation and design phase.  Key pieces of information were completed and discussed by the project working group at a workshop in December 2013. This included a stock-take of services, products and initiatives already available in the Eastern Bay of Plenty area and detailed reports from the Centre for Road Safety Intelligence about the road safety risk in this area.  

The working group agreed that the focus for this project will be on the following themes: disengagement from the system (licensure, compliance etc), impairment, speed, and road and roadsides.  The working group has formed different work streams to focus on each issue and is designing detailed interventions.  A business case will be developed for the 2014/15 financial year.

The group is currently focusing on recruiting a locally-based Project Manager to drive this project.  This person will play a key role in not only managing the project, but also leading on community engagement about these issues. 

If you would like further information about this project please email the Safer Journey’s Programme Coordinator atsaferjourneys@transport.govt.nz with Signature programme in the subject line.

Accelerate the exit of less safe vehicles programme - update February 2014

The project team has identified a range of options, option combinations and approaches that have the potential to accelerate the exit of less-safe vehicles. The focus is on vehicles manufactured in the 1990s with a one or two star used-car safety rating. A vehicle with a one or two star used-car safety rating does a poor job of protecting its occupants in a crash i.e. it has a poor crashworthiness rating.

The options have been developed in consultation with key stakeholders at workshops held in Auckland and Wellington. No single option, approach or combination is endorsed at this stage. The next phase of the project will involve undertaking:

  • benefit-cost analysis of the options
  • safety analysis to link vehicle crashworthiness to death and serious injuries
  • social research on the effectiveness of options.

The project team’s aim is to have further advice to the Minister on accelerating the exit of less-safe vehicles by June 2014.

How can I be involved?

If you would like further information about this project please email the Safer Journey’s Programme Coordinator at saferjourneys@transport.govt.nz with Safer Vehicles in the subject line.

Ensure that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reflect risk update February 2014

On 19 November the government introduced the Land Transport Amendment Bill 2013.  The legislation will lower the adult drink-driving limits from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, to 250mcg. The blood alcohol limit will reduce from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, to 50mg.

Drivers who commit an offence between 251-400mcg of breath (51 and 80mg blood alcohol) will face a $200 infringement fee and will receive 50 demerit points.  Drivers who accumulate 100 or more demerit points within two years receive a three month drivers’ licence suspension.

The Bill is currently before the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.  The Committee will consider public submissions received on the Bill before reporting back to Parliament by 3 June 2014. The Bill is expected to proceed through its remaining Parliamentary stages and be passed into law mid-2014.

The proposed lower adult drink-driving limits are expected to come into force from 1 December 2014.

How can I be involved?

If you would like further information about this project please email the Safer Journey’s Programme Coordinator at saferjourneys@transport.govt.nz with BAC in the subject line.