Moves on road toll

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SIMON.HENDERSON

@thenews.co.nz

Central Otago groups and individuals have added their support to a call from the Government for public feedback on the new road safety strategy – Road to Zero.

An online survey asks for public opinion on a new approach to road safety that proposes a target of a 40% reduction in deaths and serious injuries over 10 years.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said progress towards this target could mean 750 fewer deaths and 5600 fewer serious injuries over 10 years compared to current levels.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said any move towards reducing the high numbers of road deaths and serious injuries was to be strongly supported.

“From a local perspective, it is very pleasing to see the [NZ] Transport Agency recognise the need to streamline the process for setting speed limits across the network,” he said.

A Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman said it would be making a submission on the consultation document.

It was also continuing to work on its own speed limits bylaw review, which would be presented to the council today.

“The bylaw review is in response to New Zealand’s speed management guide by NZTA and the commencement of the new Setting of Speed Limits 2017, requiring councils to set safe and appropriate speeds across their road network.”

Constable Darren Kidd, of Cromwell, said similar approaches to the Road to Zero strategy seemed to have worked overseas.

“By putting a target on it means you can work towards something.”

Reducing deaths and injuries came down to a combination of factors, he said.

An example was the 100kmh speed limit around the Kawarau Gorge – “It is not really a road that you should be doing 100kmh on”.

A more visible police presence on public holidays was an example where efforts seemed to be effective, but in a rural setting police could not be everywhere.

Driver training and education was another factor, as was the quality of the road.

Working on roads that “may or may not be engineered correctly” or had not been assessed for some time was an area that could help reduce accidents, Const Kidd said.

  • The Road to Zero consultation runs until August 14 – submissions can be made at www.transport.govt.nz/zero.