New Zealanders and visitors use our roads every day. Our highways, streets, footpaths and cycleways connect us to each other and to the places we love.
People should be able to travel safely on our roads, yet on average, one person is killed every day on New Zealand roads, and another is injured every hour. The ripple effect of these tragedies on families, survivors, colleagues and communities, as well as the economy and health system, is devastating and it is unacceptable.
Other countries similar to New Zealand do not have the same rates of road deaths and serious injuries. We can and should do better.
Safe roads are a foundation of a safe New Zealand. Road safety goes beyond our obligation to prevent deaths and injuries to improving lives and lifestyles too. It ensures people feel safe riding their bikes and letting their children walk, bike or scooter to school. It creates road networks that connect people and communities rather than dividing them. It is part of making New Zealand – our towns and our cities – places we like to be.
Traditionally, we have focused most of our efforts to achieve safe roads on trying to improve driving skills, and addressing risk-taking behaviours. While this is important, it will not solve the road safety problem by itself. No one expects to crash, but people make mistakes – including those of us who are usually careful and responsible drivers.
This document articulates the proposed vision statement, guiding principles for how we design the road network and how we make road safety decisions, as well as targets and outcomes for 2030. It also sets out the five areas we want to focus on over the next decade, and some immediate actions we will take to drive change in each of these areas.