The Road to Zero: New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy 2020-2030 contains some pretty sobering statistics, including:

  • In 2017, there were 7.9 fatalities per 100,000 population.
  • In 2018, 182 drivers and 5 cyclists were killed.
  • The majority of serious crashes result from simple errors of perception or judgement by otherwise compliant people.

It focuses on making roads safer with better drivers, modern vehicles, physical improvements and speed reductions.

Transport and Land Use Integration

Transport regulation tends to focus on vehicles, not pedestrians, cyclists or public transport. The NZTA Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide is a good starting point. Best practice is known as the Safe System Approach. For developers this means:

  • Segregating road users – separating cycling, walking and vehicle routes.
  • Segregating traffic – separating speeds, directions and making edges ‘soft’.
  • ‘Self-explaining’ roads – making routes simple and consistent.
  • Traffic reduction – encouraging walking, cycling and public transport to reduce vehicle trips.
  • Making streets usable for other purposes – like playing-out activities and closures.

Still, I can’t help but think that the most obvious approach to reducing road trauma is to reduce road dependence.