Thumbs up for government road safety announcement

The government’s increase in road safety spending is a “big step in the right direction” says the car review website

Among other projects, the Government Policy Statement (GPS) includes a “96% increase in regional transport projects that improve safety, resilience and access.” 

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says the increase in funding is “critical” to lowering the road toll.

Multiple studies have shown that asking people to drive safely is an expensive waste of time. What does work is changing the roads, so that simple mistakes don’t turn into fatalities.” 

Matthew-Wilson also welcomes the increase in spending on rail and public transport. 

The countries with the lowest road tolls tend to be the countries with the best public transport. So, the less people who are using cars for the daily commute, the less accidents we’ll have. That’s a win for everyone.” 

Matthew-Wilson expects increased spending for rail will also be a major lifesaver.

Nearly a quarter of the road toll involves trucks. In 1980, accidents involving trucks made up 12% of the road toll. In 2016, accidents involving trucks made up 23% of the road toll. That’s one of the major reasons our road toll is going up and not down.”

The government’s own studies show that rail freight is at least twice as efficient as road freight. Moving freight by sea is also many times more efficient than trucks. The only reason that trucking companies prosper is because they don’t pay the true costs of the roads they travel down.”

However, Matthew-Wilson believes that changing New Zealand’s ‘Third World’ roads will have the biggest effect on the road toll.

“Yesterday, six people died because the road they were travelling down didn’t have a median barrier. The simple fact is, road safety messages don’t workmedian barriers do.”