Road To Zero Action Plan Backed By Regional Committee

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A high-level action plan to reduce the region’s
road-related fatalities and serious injury crashes has been
endorsed by Waikato’s regional transport
committee.

Committee chair and Waikato regional
councillor Hugh Vercoe said transport safety remains an
ongoing problem in the region.

“Everyone should
expect to arrive safely from every journey and feel safe
regardless of how they choose to get around,” he said.
“That’s why we are committed to working together to
achieve a bold vision of accessible journeys free of deaths
and serious injuries.

“Everyone who touches on our
transport sector – from a road user to those who design
and operate our roads – has the ability to influence our
regional priorities, programme development and long-term
outcomes.

“Achieving the road to zero in the Waikato
will take consistent focus, collaboration, determination,
funding and, above all, leadership,” Cr Vercoe
said.

The Road to Zero for the Waikato 2020 has
been developed over the past 12 months by the Regional Road
Safety Forum, with feedback incorporated from partners and
stakeholders on priorities beyond 2020.

The strategy
uses the ‘safe system’ methodology to identify the key
focus areas for road safety. It sets the policy framework
and a plan of action to be implemented across the region
over the next three years and also defines the work that
will need to happen over the medium term in order to best
position the region for the future.

In the year to 27
September, 231 people have died on New Zealand’s roads,
with 42 of these in the Waikato region, representing 18 per
cent. This is the lowest number of fatalities for the region
in the year to date from the last five years.

Lack of
seatbelt use has been a major contributor to deaths with an
estimated 9 of the 42 Waikato fatalities affected by this,
most commonly young men in rural environments – which
matches the research. Research in 2017 showed that up to 30
per cent of car crash fatalities involved people not wearing
a seat belt.

Background

The Regional Road
Safety Forum is a multi-agency stakeholder group established
in 2016 comprising agencies with a significant interest in
improving the road safety outcomes for the
Waikato.

The forum is mandated by the regional
transport committee to lead the regional road safety
programme.

The forum’s membership includes
representatives from all territorial authorities in the
Waikato region, as well as partner agencies such as Waka
Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, New Zealand Police, ACC,
district health boards, national road carriers, Students
Against Dangerous Driving and CCS Disability
Action.

‘Road to Zero’ – the national road
safety strategy 2020-2030 – has taken the world-leading
‘Vision Zero’ approach, which states that no death or
serious injury while travelling on our roads is
acceptable.

‘Road to Zero’ also identifies five
focus areas to prioritise efforts – infrastructure and
speed management; vehicle safety; work-related road safety;
road user choices; and system
management.

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