A new Road Safety Strategy for New Zealand

The Ministry of Transport and its road safety partners are developing a new road safety strategy to drive substantial improvements in road safety in New Zealand.

It will outline how we will approach the road safety challenges of the next decade and hold ourselves to account to save lives and meaningfully reduce trauma.

The new strategy will replace the current Safer Journeys strategy, which ends in 2020.

We need to do something differently

On average, one person dies on New Zealand’s roads every day and another is injured every hour of every day.

Although road travel in New Zealand has generally got safer in the past four decades, for the past five years we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of deaths on our roads – and it’s hard to put that down to one cause.

We know that our unforgiving road infrastructure, speed, alcohol, failing to give way or stop, and distraction continue to be the main contributing factors in fatal and serious injury crashes. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have a road system that is unforgiving of human error.

We need to do something differently.

Considering a new approach

The development of a new road safety strategy is being overseen by a cross-agency National Road Safety Committee made up of chief executives, and a Ministerial Group focused on road safety.

One of the things we will be consulting on is the development of a more ambitious commitment to improving road safety.

‘Vision Zero’ is an ambition that nobody should be killed or seriously injured on our roads. It was first launched in Sweden in 1997, and has grown into a global movement, adopted in Norway and Denmark, as well as major cities such as New York, London, and Toronto. 

Vision Zero is a shift in thinking that says road deaths are not inevitable, and we must continuously work to put safety at the centre of transport decisions. It is a long term vision supported by evidence and clear success measures.

The strategy will also include consideration of broader harms to health, such as road-related air and noise pollution and physical inactivity.

We’re not standing still

As we work on the strategy, teams of experts across the country continue their work to improve road safety and prevent these crashes from occurring.

The Ministry of Transport is working to improve safety of pathways, reviewing speeds around schools, introducing alcohol interlocks, reviewing the graduated driver licensing system and considering options to improve vehicle safety standards.

Local councils and road controlling authorities are working to review safe and appropriate speeds and improve road infrastructure.

How to contact us.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and we are keen to hear what you think.

Please email us at RoadSafetyStrategy@transport.govt.nz.

Useful links

Government policy 

Relevant research (not Government policy)