Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Govt to steer new road safety plan

Transport Minister, Simeon Brown says the Coalition Government will make the nation’s roads safer with a stronger focus on road policing and enforcement, investment in new and safe roading infrastructure, and by targeting the leading contributors to fatal crashes.

“The draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport outlines the Government’s change in approach to reducing deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads, by targeting the leading contributors to fatal crashes,” Mr Brown says.

The GPS will guide the development of performance targets for Police set through the Road Policing Investment Programme, with enforcement targets relating to speed, alcohol breath testing, and roadside drug testing.

“Road safety is a responsibility we all share. The Government has signalled our intention to introduce workable legislation to enable roadside drug testing, review fines for traffic offences, and review the vehicle regulatory system to better manage the safety performance of the vehicle fleet.”

Following the release of the final GPS later this year, the Government will also publish new objectives for road safety which focus on safer roads, safer drivers, and safer vehicles, the Minister said.

Building new and effective infrastructure, increasing maintenance outcomes, and adopting a more proactive approach to maintenance, will also help to achieve a safer and more reliable network for individuals and businesses to be able to rely upon, he said.

“We will invest in building 15 new Roads of National Significance across New Zealand and fix the potholes to make our roads safer. The NZ Transport Agency will also have flexibility to invest in a wide range of targeted safety interventions, on high-risk parts of the road network, where it provides strong safety outcomes and achieves value for money.”

While speed is a contributing factor to road safety outcomes, the Government will not continue with the previous government’s blanket approach to reducing speed limits, the Transport Minister said.

“We will take a balanced and targeted approach to speed limit settings, ensuring economic impacts – including travel times – and the views of road users and local communities are taken into account, alongside safety.”

“I invite local government, the transport sector, community groups, and the wider public to have their say on the draft GPS. Projects and funding commitments will be confirmed through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) later this year.”

The draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) document is available at www.transport.govt.nz.

Consultation closes on 2 April 2024.

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