Submissions are due today at 5 pm for Road to Zero: A New Road Safety Strategy for NZ, which we posted about last month.

Here is the Ministry of Transport’s video about the strategy.

And their information, including summaries and how to submit is here.

We highly recommend reading Bike Auckland post on the subject.

The submission doesn’t allow you to save midway – you need to submit in one sitting. Here is a document with just the first, key questions so you can prepare in advance.

Even if you don’t have time to make comments, It would be really useful to show the level of support you have for each principles and focus areas, by clicking on the scale button (ranging from strong opposition to strong support).

Here are Greater Auckland’s key submission points:

  1. We strongly support the Road to Zero strategy.
  2. We believe the evidence exists to take action now on all the Vision Zero strands. Further local evidence can assist direction in future, but is not a prerequisite to implementing the Vision Zero strategy now to prevent road trauma.
  3. Driving is a mode that presents far higher threat to other road users than public transport or active modes. The road safety strategy must prioritise modeshift and reduced vehicle travel.
  4. We support shared responsibility, but feel the strategy should acknowledge that responsibility lies more heavily with some people than others. Road and system designers have more responsibility than a person simply walking along a footpath. Vehicle drivers have more responsibility than vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, as they are driving large, heavy vehicles travelling at speed that can cause injury and death. Adults have a higher responsibility than children, who deserve the protection of the system to allow them freedom while they are developing their ability to assess risk and speed.
  5. Targets need to include reductions in vehicle travel as well as interim targets to zero road deaths.
  6. Overt direction from government is required to prioritise safety above travel time savings and traffic flow.
  7. Reducing speed limits and increasing traffic enforcement need to be prioritised swiftly as infrastructure and other system changes will take time to implement.
  8. We believe the government needs to prioritise change, as the present system is killing people and preventing healthy lifestyles. The following points are examples of key moves the government should make to prioritise change.
  9. The government needs to prevent consultation being a barrier. Road safety needs to be aligned with other sectors that involve risk to life, and redefine the levels at which the population needs to be consulted. Most change must happen swiftly to ensure safety outcomes are improved. Any necessary consultation should follow demonstrated trials – anything less favours the status quo. Strong direction to local government to minimise consultation is necessary.
  10. Silos within agencies are resisting change, using legal and reputational risk as excuses, and being creative with funding shifts that favour status quo projects. Where leadership is lacking to overcome these barriers, equity for citizens in continued danger from an unsafe network demands that the government look to intervene.
  11. “The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) assigns star-ratings based on the vehicles ability to protect the occupants and other road users in a crash and its ability to avoid a crash.” ANCAP will not provide sufficient support to the Road to Zero strategy. There needs to be acknowledgement that there are some conflicts between providing safety features for car occupants and for vulnerable road users, and that Jevon’s paradox applies here: the increase in power through better tech, rather than smaller engines, has made other road users more vulnerable. To assist the modeshift to safer modes (all of which involve active travel) wherever there is conflict, the safety for vulnerable users must be prioritised over that for vehicle occupants, in recognition of the responsibility that drivers have to other road users, on account of the risk their vehicles pose.

Happy Submitting!

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  1. Done, thanks Heidi, and good advice about not being able to go back. It takes a good half hour if you are writing comments so if you are short of time and it finishes at 5pm today you could only make a few as you go along!

  2. Thanks for the reminder. Done. Although my submission was more balanced. While in general support of the vision, it was less all cars are evil view of many of GA

    1. If you’re after balance, Stu, maybe you should campaign for the government to promote each active and sustainable mode on television with the same air time given to advertisements for motor vehicles.

      1. Issue there is that the government doesn’t advertise driving, other than telling you to slow down, but they frequently advertise modes other than driving.

        1. Actually, looking at the source report, automotive sector advertising spend is likely $200million, compared with NZTA safety advertising spend of $13-14million. So only 15 times as much….

        2. I get the idea, I just don’t think the government should be spending billions on advertising to that every item or activity known to man is advertised to a similar extent.

          I’m not even all that convinced that advertising cars really encourages people to drive, similar to how advertising shows doesn’t really encourage people to walk. All it does is encourage people to buy new vehicles.

        3. I find the advertising that is of a Brrrm Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm variety objectionable.
          Particularly one of the Ford adds for a large motored car.
          Also some of the off road vehicle adds tearing up rivers and land as though there is no problems with carbon emissions or species extinctions in our back country.
          This sort of irresponsible advertising needs to be ostracized.

  3. My main issue with the “New Road Safety Strategy” was that it seemed to be largely a repeat of the previous strategy, although with less of a focus on education.

    The proof will really be in how its followed as generally only NZTA followed the previous one.

  4. Stu, to whom do you attribute the view, “all cars are evil” to?

    I post frequently on my experiences around the world where car mode share has been reduced, but I don’t think it follows that all cars are evil. I talk about those cities because statistically they are safer, more pleasant (subjective I know), and in most cases have more affordable transport options for everyone.

    Heidi is absolutely right when she posts that Auckland has a huge problem with road safety. She is also right that NZ and Auckland have a huge carbon emission problem and that most of the recent growth in emissions is due to vehicle emissions. It is clear that those emissions need to decrease and that they need to decrease quickly. The scientific view sems to be that we have about 11 years to act. Assoc Minister Genter’s foreword to the “feebate proposal” indicates that vehicle emissions will not peak until 2022. There is no easy answer in sight. There aren’t enough second hand Leafs, we cannot run our cars on vegetable oil, or whey protein. If we can buy evs then currently we will have to run the Huntly Coal Station to power them. Logically we have to drive less. Otago University has said as much. Even Hillary Barry on that show tailored to white middle class NZ, 7 Sharp, has said, “we are holding onto our old cars because we will buy an ev, or we may not even drive at all.”

    Not driving may be the new reality. Here’s what environmentally leading cities in Europe are doing: Vienna is aiming for a city wide car mode share of 20% by 2025 (from 26%); and Milan wants to reduce car mode share by 40% by 2025.

    Taking cars of our roads will ease congestion; allow us to re-prioritise spending to maybe social housing rather than roads and car parks; improve safety; reduce pollutants and reduce emissions. All of this seems a rational, coherent and logical approach based on good science. It’s a huge leap to turn this into an anti car sentiment.

    It would be interesting to see how your submission could be more balanced than the views that Heidi brings to GA.

    1. OK. Maybe not “all car are evil” but certainly some here are anti anything that would improve travel by car.
      By balanced, I didn’t mean as a counter to Heidi’s submission. I agree with a lot of what she says, but not all. For example I don’t think the focus should be on reducing speed limits and reducing vkt for the sake of it. Yes it is the easiest thing to do and police, but I don’t think this will meet any DSI reduction targets and have no real affect on the environment.
      I would much rather the focus was on (re) educating people on driving skills and making fines for things like using a mobile phone while driving way higher.
      I do agree with more options (including better PT and appropriate cycling infrastructure) which of course should reduce vkt. I also agree that the policies of NZTA actively discourage people from using motorways pushing more people onto suburban streets.
      As for electric cars, as with all cars, it will be the more affluent who will take them up first as we replace our current (already safe, low emission) cars.
      As with all submitters, I am entitled to my opinions.

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