The next government needs to commit to a goal of zero harm on our roads to address the rapidly rising numbers of people being killed on them, the Green Party said today.
There have been 282 road deaths this year, 38 more than this time last year. Road deaths have been trending upwards since 2013 when a total of 253 people were killed for the full year. Road deaths in heavy vehicle crashes have also spiked upwards to levels not seen since 2007.
“New Zealand is heading towards its fourth consecutive rise in the road toll this year despite record spending on our roads,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“Too many people are dying on our roads despite our cars getting safer and our speeds getting slower.
“The previous National Government has spent too much of the transport budget on a few Roads of National Significance and not enough on funding the kind of safety improvements on and around our roads that can lead to a significantly lower road toll. For example, Operation Lifesaver was an alternative to the Puhoi to Wellsford highway that could have been implemented sooner saving lives.
“Many other countries have adopted the goal of reaching a zero road toll which means they start implementing sooner the sorts of improvements to roads that save lives, like safe speeds around schools.
“Road deaths involving heavy vehicles have been rising rapidly, up 63 percent since 2013. A commitment by government to moving greater amounts of freight by rail and sea would help save lives on our roads,” said Ms Genter.