Our vision, mission, values and aims

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Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and enjoyable. Our mission is to:

  • affect attitudes and behaviours, and policies and investment to achieve our vision; and
  • relieve the suffering of people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes.

What we mean by safe, sustainable, healthy and fair

Safe: Travel doesn't pose a threat to life nor a threat of serious injury.

Sustainable: Travel does not contribute to pollution and global warming.

Healthy: People can engage in active travel, getting around in ways that contribute to health and well-being, and without breathing in damaging air pollution from traffic.

Fair: Travel is fair for all. All children and adults have the freedom to move around their communities and get to places they want to be, without fear, threat, risk to health, noise or discomfort, nor unreasonable cost.

The reality is far from this.

Unsafe: Across the globe, 1.2 million people killed annually in road crashes and the figure is expected to rise to 1.8 million by 2030. In New Zealand, about 300 people die every year.

Unsustainable: Motorised road transport contributes about a quarter to a third of the richest nations' CO2 emissions, and emissions are rising in the poorest and middle-income nations.

Unhealthy: A leading cause of obesity in developed nations is sedentary lifestyles, and about 300,000 people die annually globally from respiratory conditions directly attributable to traffic pollution. In New Zealand, we suffer from too little public transport and too few safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

Unfair: Many people are inhibited from moving around their communities freely. This particularly affects the poorest people, prevented from travelling to work places and amenities, particularly through lack of public transport and safe routes for people on foot and bicycles.

Our values

Doing it for the right reason: Life and well-being above all else. We put humanitarian concerns above all else in our work. We care about the devastation of road deaths and injuries. We care about the fear and threat caused by motorised road traffic and how this inhibits active travel. We care about pollution from traffic, and its contribution to disease and global warming.

Doing the right thing: Evidence-based solutions. We seek out and share research and good practice to inform efforts by us and others to deliver the most effective solutions.

Doing it together: Change through actions by everyone. We work through education and communication to inform and inspire positive change by everyone. We recognise everyone can be part of the solution by understanding the crises we face and using roads safely and sustainably. We understand the importance of governments in affecting change through policy, and the ability of corporations, organisations, communities and individuals to shape and drive this through campaigning and right-minded actions.

Doing it as a professional team: Our passionate and able staff and volunteers. We value the passion, knowledge, creativity, skills and collaboration of our staff, volunteers, people engaged in our work, and professionals in the fields of road safety, sustainable travel and victim support. Their input is vital, respected and enables us to share and develop best practice. Together we are stronger.

Our strategic aims (2015-2019)

  • Build awareness and engagement with the cause and Brake: Increase awareness of, and our collective responsibility for, road safety, including preventing the devastation of road crashes and the environmental and health damage caused by motorised road transport, as an important social issue and charitable cause. Defend the human right to move around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair and for road crash victims to be provided with effective support. Strengthen and raise the profile of the Brake brand and achieve increased engagement with the charity.
  • Achieve policy changes and increases in investment: Influence national, local, international and organisational policies and investment to achieve measures to improve road safety (especially to protect the vulnerable) and road crash victim support, and enable sustainable, healthy and enjoyable travel, in line with evidence on what is most likely to be effective and the importance of safe systems, and within the rules of charity campaigning in New Zealand.
  • Influence attitudes and behaviours on roads. Promote positive attitudes towards, and adoption of, safe and sustainable behaviours on roads. Encourage and support professionals working in the field of road safety and sustainable and active travel, employers, educators, and the public to enable and promote safe, sustainable, healthy and enjoyable road use, with particular emphasis on the responsibilities of drivers and other adults to protect the vulnerable.
  • Support road crash victims. Help road crash victims through high-quality, specialist victim support services. Encourage and support professionals working with these victims.
  • Raise more funds and enable the charity to achieve more. Increase the charity's income and our charitable work.

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