The three recent serious bus crashes on New Zealand roads are tragic events that have impacted many people. Our thoughts are with all those that have been affected.
The Ministry of Transport and the NZ Transport Agency will be examining the outcome of investigations into the three crashes by NZ Police, and the findings of relevant Coronial hearings. Our work will focus on any commonalities and any lessons that can be learned.
It is important we wait for the results of the Coronial and Police investigations and avoid speculation on the possible contributing factors to the crashes in the interim. This is to prevent inaccurate conclusions being drawn that may harm the people involved, their friends and family, commercial operators and manufacturers.
The Ministry and the Transport Agency remain committed to improving road safety in New Zealand. As part of our ongoing work in this area, the Ministry is leading the development of a new road safety strategy. This includes bus safety, for example vehicle safety standards (including seat belt requirements), the vehicle inspection and testing regime, and the management of driver fatigue.
We will be working with industry, regulators, emergency services, union representatives and other stakeholders over the next three to four months as part this work. Following this there will be opportunities for the public to contribute. Bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise is essential to creating a strategy that will improve safety outcomes for all road users.
It is also important to note that bus travel remains the safest mode of transport in New Zealand. Fewer than 2% of fatal crashes over the past five years have involved a bus. A 2015 report by the Transport Agency found that passengers in cars and vans are seven times more likely than bus passengers to be killed or injured in a crash.
The Ministry will continue to provide updates on this work on our website.
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