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:
- We strongly support the Road to Zero strategy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Targets need to include reductions in vehicle travel as well as interim targets to zero road deaths.
- Overt direction from government is required to prioritise safety above travel time savings and traffic flow.
- Reducing speed limits and increasing traffic enforcement need to be prioritised swiftly as infrastructure and other system changes will take time to implement.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- “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.