This is a guest post by the Minister of Transport, Michael Wood. The piece was originally published as an op-ed on the New Zealand Herald (paywalled), and is republished here with permission from the Minister’s office. Images and captions have been added by Greater Auckland.

I would like to thank the Herald for its focus on road safety over the summer months. With 8,090 deaths on our roads since 2000, and tens of thousands life-changing injuries, few topics are as important to me as Transport Minister. The worst moment of my week is receiving a report each Friday that gives an overview of all road fatalities in the preceding 7 days. In the final month of 2021 alone there were 28 deaths, with victims ranging from 13 to 80 years old. They came from cities, towns, and the regions; they were drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Every single life lost rippled through whanau and communities. Simply put, the carnage is awful.

Across news reports, columns, and letters, people have offered their views as to what can be done to reduce road deaths. The good news is that we know that the right mix of policies can make a difference. We know this because it has happened, both here and overseas. New Zealand’s worst year on the roads was 1973, when 843 people were killed. Between 1985 and 1990 over 700 people were killed each year. At 320 road deaths in 2021 we are still losing far too many people, but clearly changes across road design, vehicle safety standards, speed enforcement, seat-belt wearing, and massive changes in the legal and social tolerance for drunk driving have made a significant difference. Countries such as Sweden and Ireland, and the state of Victoria, have all shown in recent years that a system-wide, evidence-led approach can push road deaths even lower.

Road design can help slow speeds and make streets safer – demonstrated here in Richmond’s Innovating Streets project, near a kindergarten.

This is the approach that our Government has adopted here in New Zealand. It’s a strategy called ‘Road to Zero’, and its fundamental premise is that we should not accept any road deaths. We need a comprehensive approach that takes what we know about deaths and serious injuries on our roads, and implements changes that we know will make a difference. This is not about any single initiative but about how we develop a safe system that includes safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe road use, and safe roads. So when Simon Wilson puts forward evidence that safer speeds make a difference he is right. When Greg Murphy argues that good driver education is important, he is right. When Steven Joyce states that well-engineered roads make a difference, he is right too. Under Road to Zero we are investing in all of these areas at record levels, with over $10 billion allocated over the next decade to save lives.

Here’s the key thing about Road to Zero: it recognises that drivers make mistakes. Across the billions of kilometres travelled by Kiwis every year, people will get it wrong, even those who consider themselves good drivers. This is where we need to address the elephant in the room – speed. Speaking plainly, this is one of the most difficult areas for us to discuss because the evidence and public opinion are often at odds. Speed makes a major difference for a number of reasons.

Safer speeds reduce risk in situations like this.

Firstly, modern analysis of road conditions can provide strong technical advice about what a “safe and appropriate” speed is for a particular section of road. Due to historic setting of speed limits without this kind of analysis, the limits on some of our roads are higher than the safe and appropriate level. While speed was not the only determinant in all of the 28 road deaths in the final four weeks of 2021, in all but seven of those cases, the speed limit in place was higher than the assessed safe and appropriate limit.

Secondly, speed makes a major difference if and when a crash happens. Drivers have more time to react, the sheer physical forces involved are escalated at higher speeds, and the fatality rates increase markedly at higher speeds. As Simon Wilson pointed out, there is a 95% chance of death if a car hits a pedestrian at 60 km/h, and this reduces to 32% at 40 km/h. If we want to reduce deaths and serious injuries then we need to ensure that roads are more forgiving if a crash occurs, and that speed limits are set safely.

Death and injury risk percentages at different speeds. Source: Auckland Transport

In his column, Steven Joyce is critical of moves to set safer speeds across the network. He characterises this as some kind of ideological approach. It is not, and rather than firing political broadsides I would challenge him to engage with the overwhelming body of evidence which shows that safe speeds make a difference. If he has competing evidence, let’s hear it. Recently released data shows that in the year since safer speed limits were set on State Highway 6 between Nelson and Blenheim, there have been no deaths (5 in the preceding two years), and just one serious injury crash (15 in the preceding two years).

Waka Kotahi and the government faced huge criticism for this change at the time, but I stand by it. Our work to set safer speeds is saving lives, and will continue to do so – for me as Minister there is nothing more important. I ask other regional leaders including Mayors in Hawke’s Bay who are currently campaigning to retain speed limits that we know to be unsafe to think about this and to consider doing the right thing, rather than just what is perceived to be the popular thing.

Safer speeds might not be popular – but they’re proven to reduce death and injury.

As I said, a safe system includes safe speeds, but also a range of other factors including safer roads. Steven Joyce made an interesting comment about the value of investment in separated dual carriageways on the State Highway network, which was a hallmark of his time as Minister. I agree that in the right places, these investments can have a benefit and improve safety. The issue is that a myopic focus on these very expensive interventions across a small part of the network meant that the bread and butter of good road maintenance – improvements to tricky bends, installing side and median barriers and the like – were starved of investment.

Our investment through Road to Zero is resulting in ongoing improvements across the network with a focus on areas we know to be dangerous. This evidence-based approach will deliver much bigger safety benefits than a small number of politically-motivated State Highway projects. Steven Joyce quotes the recent low point for the road toll of 253 reached in 2013, but fails to mention that between then and 2017 the number of deaths increased by around 50% to 378. We have begun to turn that around, but there is still much more to be done.

Our streets need to be safe for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Across the rest of the Road to Zero programme there is a huge amount of work that will occur over the coming year to keep Kiwis safer on our roads, including the finalisation of drug driving legislation, improved vehicle safety standards, a strengthened road safety partnership with NZ Police, the commencement of a Ministerial Oversight Group to coordinate government action, the final stage of the ‘Accessible Streets’ regulatory package to improve pedestrian safety, the confirmation of a new speed rule with a focus on safe speeds around schools, a review of fines and penalties, and the ongoing roll-out of a large programme of maintenance and improvements to roads all over the country.

Our Government will do everything we can to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads, but this has to be a shared national effort. Excessive speed, fatigue, impairment, and a failure to wear seatbelts all contribute to deaths and serious injuries, and enormous pain across the country. In 12 of those 28 deaths at the end of last year, no suitable restraint was worn – so please make it click in 2022!

By following the latest evidence and working together as a country against COVID-19 we have saved many lives. Let’s apply the same approach to saving lives on our roads.

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    1. Given how much political wrangling is involved in simply slapping a lower number on some signs, getting meaningful mode shift might be a little further off.

  1. 8 January – WK CEO Nicole Rosie publishes op-ed in Stuff saying we’re doing all we can on road safety.
    22 January – Minister Michael Wood publishes op-ed in Herald saying we’re doing all we can on road safety.
    27 January – damning MartinJenkins report on road safety, commissioned by the ministry, says ‘Police, NZTA are failing to deliver on ‘Road to Zero’–review
    Neither Rosie nor Wood mentioned this forthcoming report in their articles. Were they written purely to diffuse negative attention they knew was coming?
    Oh Rosie, oh Michael. How could you?

    1. In terms of the Police failing to deliver, the WK Board Chair said at the review:

      “We respect the fact that the Police have a number of priorities and they’re best able to judge them, but we have, in our view a contractual commitment that they are required to deliver against and that has been an ongoing challenge for both organisations, I think, for the last ten years but it’s one that the current commissioner is committed to resolving and we’ll talk to him this afternoon and hopefully see progress… The role of the police is fundamental to us, having a credible RtZ, and it’s a non-negotiable. We have to find a way through it.”

      What I don’t understand is this: If there’s a contractual commitment, aren’t there conventional tools to make them deliver? And as this has been on the radar for ten years, has there been absolutely no one willing to take action? No one prepared to shake things up to save lives? What kind of dystopian ethically-barren landscape is this transport sector?

  2. Wood’s piece is better than Rosie’s. It’s more specific and contains some data, including this zinger: “of the 28 road deaths in the final four weeks of 2021, in all but seven of those cases, the speed limit in place was higher than the assessed safe and appropriate limit.”

    Unfortunately, WK are not telling us what the assessed safe and appropriate speed limit is, nor have they agreed to reduce speed limits to what they have assessed as safe and appropriate.

    On the impact of Road to Zero, he offers us the State Highway 6 example, not an overall summary of all interventions done in the first two years of the programme, or any (necessarily tentative) explanation for the increasing deaths.

    If the final phase of a pedestrian safety programme is about to start, what did the completed phases achieve?

    And yet again, nothing about traffic volumes or cyclists.

    1. “nor have they agreed to reduce speed limits to what they have assessed as safe and appropriate.”

      Waka Kotahi are reviewing speed limits on the entire state highway network. An actual change to the limit requires a bit more analysis and public consultation (that’s the law, which Waka Kotahi don’t control). Waka Kotahi also can’t force councils to change their speed limits at this stage.

      1. It’s deeper than that. You say Waka Kotahi don’t control the law. No, but they have had many years during which appropriate advice – including rebutting myths and misinformation from MP’s and vested interests – could have influenced the law.

        1. That’s a good point Heidi, I believe that this is how the current law actually came into place, NZTA (as they were) advised the National government of the problem with the old law and advised what changes were needed.

          Would you actually want this to change though? The new law allows area wide consultation, rather than doing every street, so it’s not very onerous. This also isn’t a vote and Waka Kotahi don’t treat it as such.

  3. Glad to hear the Minister’s view on Vision Zero, but… as a whole, the transport sector (freights, road users, councils etc) does not seem to be on board with speed reduction or model shift.
    If we are serious about safer speed, how about only allowing arterial roads have a speed limit 50km/hr or higher, with the rest of local/neighbourhood roads 30km/hr?

    1. Part of the problem is that the old Setting of Speed Limits rule made it much more difficult four road controlling authorities to set a speed limit other than the default (50km/h urban, 100km/h rural). They effectively had to ask NZTA’s permission on a case by case basis and prove it was justified. The new rule should help with this a bit – for example Councils can change the limits on a whole area at once, rather than having to do it street by street.

      I always find it a bit baffling when a road has a bunch of engineering features (speed bumps, speed tables, chicanes, neckdowns, bumpouts, planting) to try to reduce speed to 15-30km/h, but the speed limit on the road is still 50. Hopefully this starts to change.

      1. It’s an emissions issue too, speed controlling features with a high limit encourages far more acceleration and braking.

      2. The old rule was based almost entirely on roadside development. Development made up 50% of the rating and whole bunch of other stuff made up the other 50% but the kicker was ‘everything else’ couldn’t give a higher score than the development score. The result was you had to survey heaps of things and the final result was almost always determined by development.

    2. I’m not so sure that resistance to lowering speed limits is as strong as you suggest. OK, so the comments on Stuff are opposed, but on the actual consultations (e.g. the ones where you can stick a pin on a map, these attract many hundreds of comments) there is a lot of support. A recent proposal to lower SH57 from Levin to Shannon from 100 to 80 – a relatively wide and straight state highway – gained good support from locals.

      A 4-lane dual carriageway in Palmerston North was recently lowered from 70 to 60 with good support and excellent compliance.

      Now the entire speed-limit setting process is being changed, so it will take a while to know if the new system is any better. But it will still be piecemeal and it still will not require safe speeds.

  4. Well-written and I agree with the minister. One should not forget about another important risk-limiting factor – reduction in traffic in general. More people on buses and trains means less drivers. Safety is not only about making changes to roads. It’s also making sure that the number of people exposed to risk is lower.

  5. The rhetoric seems so far away from the reality on the ground at a local level. Only yesterday I was part a group of cyclists meeting to consider upping a campaign to get a safe crossing at the end of a cycleway. Speeds are too fast on the road – and not enforced in any way – there is no crossing – no engineering to slow traffic – walkers and cyclists take their chances. We need big changes to make this all work – in terms of both safety and climate change. So our only solution seems to be indulge in a little urban activism ourselves.

  6. The Minister is merely telling me that road injury is important. That is trite handwringing. He seems capable only of agreeing with everyone. His job is to make a difference, not nod his head.

    Instead, the Minister should have set out what measurable difference he will make to safety numbers, so that he can be held accountable by both Parliament and in 2023 by the electorate.

    He sounds remarkably similar to Brian Roche in November last year saying that the inability to get TG finished wasn’t their fault because they weren’t in control of anything – but could we all work harder at it please.

    The Minister should ,for example, be able to demonstrate that the new Auckland CBD speed limits are making a measurable difference to injury levels.

    We did not elect the Minister for Agreeing with Everyone.
    We elected the Minister to Make It Happen.

    1. “The Minister should ,for example, be able to demonstrate that the new Auckland CBD speed limits are making a measurable difference to injury levels.”

      Do you mean like telling you how the speed limits on SH6 made a measurable difference to road injury? Exactly like he did in this article.

      1. One year does not a pattern make…. Correlation does not imply causation.
        Also other safety measures were made to that road… how are we to know they didn’t make the difference?

        1. Ok. So let’s use Physics then.

          Objects moving at 80kph rather than a 100kph, have what 40% less energy?

          Sounds far safer.

        2. So why don’t you jump on a horse and cart then and travel at 20km/h… according to you speed is the only consideration… it must be much safer…
          When in reality everything is a trade off – we trade off some safety (not much I might add) to improve productivity and decrease journey times.
          There are very very few fatal accidents in NZ where the outcome would be different between 80 and 100km/h. If someone is going to drive recklessly (joyriding etc) then the speed limit is irrelevant.
          Safety belts, more focus on actual reckless driving as well as drug/drunk driving would make a huge difference. Not forgetting of course the sheer numbers of maniacs on motorcycles! Luckily they generally only kill themselves but it still adds to the road toll and affects other people.

        3. What figures are you working from to believe that there are “very very few fatal accidents in NZ where the outcome would be different between 80 and 100km/h”? And are you forgetting that at the lower speed, many crashes would have been avoided altogether?

          “Safety belts, more focus on actual reckless driving as well as drug/drunk driving would make a huge difference” – Yes, but that doesn’t reduce the need to attend to the other factors.

          Slower speeds save lives. We don’t actually need to argue this any more.

        4. And yet plenty of countries with faster speed limits than ours have lower accident and fatality rates.
          Yes technically speed encompasses everything (as I said previously we could all just go back to using slow horse and carts), but it doesn’t often cause accidents and often doesn’t change the outcomes But you hate cars Heidi we know that. What if we put in place speed limits for buses of 30km/h, cycles of 20km/h (safer speed n all), maybe walking only no running allowed. Of course we wouldn’t because speed plays a highly valuable role in how our modern society operates. Cars are orders of magnitude safer now than in the 1970’s and roads are mostly better too yet you want to introduce speeds slower than what we were doing the past 50 years? *slow clap*

        5. You make some good points Realist.

          Driving around a corner in the wet where the tar has been bleeding is not going to any safer at 80kph if you’re on two wheels.

          We should be aiming for safer roads.

          Currently the answer is to slow traffic down rather than fixing the problem.

  7. “Across the rest of the Road to Zero programme there is a huge amount of work that will occur over the coming year to keep Kiwis safer on our roads, including … improved vehicle safety standards”

    This needs to include people outside the vehicle (pedestrians, cyclists etc) as well as those inside

  8. It is the driver’s attitude which need to be changed.

    – be more considerate to other motorists/pedestrians/cyclists
    – drive to the condition – for example: twisting country roads – slow down
    – eyes on the road all the time – don’t look at the phone
    – don’t overtake recklessly – happen too often
    – stay left on road, even on a multi lanes road (UK was great for this example)

    These are the classic example, I could go on and on.

    1. Unfortunately, as Covid has shown, there are always going to be a small number of people whose attitudes are intractable. Only 1 in 100 drivers need to be horrible to create regularly-dangerous situations.

      I would rather have an environment that PREVENTS collisions than depend on convincing the worst drivers to be both nicer and smarter.

    2. Thanks Ian – but be really careful with this line of thinking, eg If we all drove better then we would die or be DSI’d …

      This requires magic to fix our bad drivers, and our regular ones who make mistakes (crap – thats me)

      Vision Zero works on the system – allows bad drivers to exist – but not kill you and your loved ones – no magic required – just some action on part of our officials (again no magic – just regular old governance)

  9. These smaller safety projects are absolutely the way to go.

    To put them in context we take an example project of the Dome Valley safety improvements, its 5.5 million per km for an estimated 60% dsi reduction.

    The upper projected cost of the Warkworth to Wellsford motorway, in 2019 (would certainly be higher now) was 2.1 billion. If this money were instead used on the same treatment model as Dome Valley, for the same price per km of around 5.6 million, they could treat from Warkworth to the northernmost extent of SH1 at Cape Reinga. 360km of road, and still get some change out of it.

    Now this is clearly an oversimplification, but the enormous area you can treat, and the safety you can buy is obvious. A 60-90% reduction in DSI over 360km of road is clearly going to be a much bigger saving than even a 100% reduction over 50km. Especially if we targeted the most dangerous % of state highways.

    The most dangerous of state highways where: “In New Zealand for every 100 km stretch of high volume (>5000 vehicles per day), high speed (>70km/h), undivided sections of State highway, an average of 16 people are killed or seriously injured every year.

    And the dome valley works aren’t even a perfect model, there are very conspicuous gaps in the ropes where it got a bit hard to put them in, you can still right turn across high speed traffic, the intersections aren’t all that fantastic, the curves are still brutal, they haven’t consolidated driveways into side roads, its extremely expensive terrain to do roadworks in…… And yet it’s still orders of magnitude better safety for money than the old motorways as a safety treatment model.

  10. Well at least he finished it correctly.
    Half of those fatalities were people not wearing seatbelts FFS!!!
    If you then take out drunk drivers (and drug drivers – which get little to no attention in this country), then you have effectively eliminated close to all of the road toll.
    Also fix up dangerous roads and make things safer for cyclists and you have pretty much got Zero.
    What is left are freak accidents or idiots recklessly driving (joyrides, police chases etc) – which have nothing whatsoever to do with the speed limits that the other 99% of drivers deal with.

    1. That is not even remotely true. Over the last few year no seatbelts and alcohol/drug influence have been about 20-35% of deaths each. However, a lot of people who don’t where seatbelts are also drunk. Most fatal crashes are people making really small, really common mistakes, on really dangerous sections of road. I.e. misjudging a corner and losing control into a roadside power pole.

      1. Did you even read the article??
        “ In 12 of those 28 deaths at the end of last year, no suitable restraint was worn – so please make it click in 2022!” ok 42.8% isn’t precisely half but it’s close enough.
        As to your comment about simple mistakes, that is very rare. People falling asleep is much more common.
        But you are right about power poles… it boggles the mind that someone in NZ decided to put power poles or allow trees or other obstacles to be placed on the outsides of corners! We don’t even need to underground in most cases – just some better pole placement.

        1. The poles aren’t on the carriage way though. “Better pole placement” is a good idea, but having the cars not leave the road in the first place is important, requiring safer speeds and all the other systems changes to support safe driving.

        2. They are often placed immediately adjacent to the road and don’t meet vision zero standards. If you collide with a power pole or tree it’s usually going to be fatal. If roads had wider shoulders then vehicles would be less likely to leave the road (and it would be safer for cyclists or slower vehicles). Side barriers have their place too – but median barriers are more important in most cases.

  11. What about people outside of the car – pedestrians, cyclists, scooters? creating safer infrastructure for these modes would push people out of cars and result in less deaths. the non-motorised modes must be a part of road to zero too.

  12. Interesting that they mention the Napier-Taupo highway (SH5) as there is, as they point out, a lot of local opposition to reducing the speed limit from 100kph to 80kph. The imposition of a blanket speed reduction is not necessary, but certainly there are some areas which could be reduced. Flexibility and listening to people who use it everyday is the key, not blanket imposition. There are, literally, only about 3 stopping points on the whole route (Te Pohue, Tarawera Tavern, Rangitaiki Tavern), but there are lots of wiggly corners in between. So, in reality, it is the design of the road that is lacking.

    The real issue though, is the logging trucks. At present each truck going from the Kaiangaroa forest to the Napier Port can do three return trips per day, within their window of safety. But only Just. By slowing them down to 80k, their wages will go down by a third, as they will only be able to do two trips a day. This is the economic imperative driving the considerable protest. There is no train, nor is there ever a prospect of a train. There is only trucks.

    What would probably be more useful for the rest of NZ who are not truck drivers, would be to slow the trucks down to 80km (there and everywhere!) and let the car drivers overtake them at 100 – but only if there are safe overtaking bays, of which there are currently very few. So, once again, it is the design of the road that is lacking. I’d venture to say that at present the dangerous overtaking of long logging truck/trailers (cruising at 100km) that is causing the frustration from car drivers and the bad driving.

    To me – safer driving comes from better designed roads, with more legal over-taking bays, rather than a blanket reduction in speed, which will only serve to get even more people hacked off, and do stupid things.

    1. It’s a good thing that Waka Kotahi set speeds based on data and not your reckons then. We know that reduced speed limits save lives, especially on roads like the Napier Taupo Highway.

  13. The ministers hands are probably still somewhat tied behind his back, I suspect Steven Joyce’s prodiges were planted deep within NZTA-WK

  14. If we aren’t to accept any deaths then as I’ve commented in many other articles NZ needs a compulsory nationwide vision zero/carbon zero infrastructure standard.

    This needs to be in place now as we dont have the money to go back and redo new works not implemented to vision zero.

    Where I currently reside the road design standard is almost vision zero so it is achievable.

  15. Making aspirational statements like zero deaths on roads may make Michael Wood think he appears to be doing his job. Living up to this futile and misleading statement, quite the other.

    Did he accompany his rhetoric by saying all highways will get medium barriers? No.

    Did he strengthen laws on driver cell phone use, a lead cause of distraction and crashes in vehicles? No.

    Did he bring in retesting of all drivers at regular intervals to see if they have the necessary skills AND understanding of the road rules to control a motor vehicle? No.

    Did he even tell us one of the biggest killing roads in the country, the section between Warkworth and Wellsford was going to have a sizeable budget increase to complete lane separation by mid year and rectify the abysmal road surface properly before being replaced with a modern fully separated highway by 2025? No. Not at all

    It was a pointless corporate goal puff piece with absolutely nothing to back it up! Much like most of Labours promises.

    Still waiting for that tram to Mt Roskill, Michael. It’s a year late though.

  16. My +1 was meant to be in response to

    Logan says:
    January 27, 2022 at 4:47 pm
    Unfortunately, as Covid has shown, there are always going to be a small number of people whose attitudes are intractable. Only 1 in 100 drivers need to be horrible to create regularly-dangerous situations.

    I would rather have an environment that PREVENTS collisions than depend on convincing the worst drivers to be both nicer and smarter.

  17. Obviously Steven Joyce has learned nothing since his years as Minister of Transport, and his misguided strategy of spending vast sums of money on a few stretches of gold-plated motorway. Thank goodness his opinion piece in the Herald was paywalled so I didn’t feel obliged to read it.

  18. Goes to show the stupidity of raising the speed limit from 80Km/h to 100Km/h back in 1985. How many thousands of deaths and injuries might have been avoided if the government of the day (The faux-Labour government of Lange, Douglas, Prebble) had not done this?

    1. We’d be the laughing stock of the world – a real banana republic that can’t even have proper roads.
      Out productivity as a nation would be in the toilet, everything would cost even more, people would have less time to spend with family and friends, we likely wouldn’t even have much difference in the road toll since most fatal accidents are that way due to lack of seatbelts/drink driving/drug driving/tired (which gets worse with slower speeds) driving/distracted driving/reckless driving/motorcycle riding.

      1. No. We would have had far fewer accidents and a booming economy with all our resources directed into productivity instead of the massive costs of road deaths and injuries and the loss of valuable working lives. We would have been ahead of the vision-zero curve instead of lagging behind.
        There you go “Realist”. I can make bald statements too!

        1. Our population has gone up massively since the 80’s, more people on the move obviously increases the odds naturally.

          Speed is actually not a factor in many crashes causing death apart from the sheer fact the vehicle was moving from my experience but its the last refuge especially for politicians who either have no imagination or clues or a wilfully misleading to avoid sorting out run down infrastructure.

          I think Wood encapsulates all three.

        2. The faster you go, the bigger the risk.
          The faster you go, the bigger the mess.
          The faster you go, the bigger the bruises.

          Write this out 500 times.

        3. It’s NZ’s failure to follow the safety trends other OECD countries have been tracking that makes us a laughing stock, Realist.

          Link, all the top transport safety organisations of the world stress that reducing speeds is one of the most important policies. Speed is a factor in every crash that ends in death.

        4. Perhaps you might like to explain why NSW road toll is currently at its lowest level for nearly 100 years if lower speeds is the answer?

  19. Goals can be aspirational. Zero is not achievable. There will always be deadly hazards on roads and reducing speed even say to 30km/h would not prevent all. Consider:
    Drunk or drugged
    Falling asleep or distracted
    Mechanical failures of vehicles
    No centre barrier or barriers on corners
    Falling trees or rocks, flooding, sinkholes

    1. We’ve got a long way to go until Zero is achievable.

      For now, we can either say “thoughts and prayers” and let the deaths continue, or just dive in and copy what countries like Norway (110 deaths for 2019 / 2 deaths per 100k people) are doing.

      They aren’t doing anything revolutionary. NZ could lead the world.

  20. There is a huge difference between binge drinking and a glass of wine at dinner. The construction industry ranks second in the number of diagnosed disorders caused by substance and alcohol use last year. Because of Local Law 196 of 2017, New York City now requires construction workers at most major worksites in the five boroughs to receive at least 30 hours of Site Safety Training (SST) including The 2 Hour Drugs and Alcohol Awareness class.

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