Every death and serious injury on the road is horrific and unacceptable, with devastating consequences for families. These terrible tragedies happen all over our country, every day.
Yet these devastating and costly casualties are preventable, and so we should not accept any number. Brake believes we should strive towards a vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries. This is the only humane aim.
We must also acknowledge that the traffic causing these tragedies is a major contributor to carbon emissions, and affects the well-being and health of communities. In working to tackle the carnage, we can also make our communities greener, healthier, happier places.
We should aspire to a world where governments, communities and companies have worked together to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries.
The Vision Zero movement, started in Sweden, says life and health must never be exchanged for other perceived benefits. It places ethics and governments at the heart of achieving change. Vision Zero mirrors the visions of many road safety and sustainability organisations. It builds transport that is safe, sustainable, healthy and fair.
Brake is working with other organisations such as Cycling Action Network, Living Streets and NZ School Speeds to call for Vision Zero in New Zealand.
Our government needs:
- Short-term and long-term targets for reducing crashes and emissions
- Strategic plans that implement known and emerging solutions
- Agencies devoted to investigating crashes; their extent, causes and solutions
On our transport network we need:
- 30km/h speed limits in urban areas, outside schools and in residential communities
- Traffic-free civic spaces so people can make the most of their streets
- Routes and safe crossing points for people on foot and bicycles, segregated from, and prioritised above, motorised vehicles
- Accessible, efficient public transport for people that is frequent, cheap and green
- Speed limits no higher than 80km/h on single carriageway rural roads
- Transport of goods that utilises more rail and sea transport to minimise truck mileage and size
- Regulated road design, and use of measures proven to prevent crashes and minimise risk of injury in crashes, such as median barriers
For vehicles we need:
- Regulated vehicle design; minimising emissions, preventing crashes and minimising risk of injury in crashes
- Increased use of technology such as seat belt locks, speed limiters, alcohol interlocks and telematics
- Occupant crash protection measures on all vehicles
- Occupant and pedestrian safety design measures required by law to be to the latest, highest standards
- Compulsory qualifications for all vehicle mechanics, renewed in line with technological developments
- Compulsory servicing, in line with manufacturer recommendations on timing and standards
- Safety-critical design problems to be solved, such as temperamental wheel fixings on large vehicles
- Reduction in usage, and emissions from, private vehicles
For safer drivers we need:
- Driver training focused on hazard and crash awareness and prevention measures
- Health screening for eyesight and impairing medical conditions required regularly for all drivers
- A zero alcohol limit for all drivers, with a trace element of no more than 20mg per 100ml of blood allowable
- A ban on the use of any impairing drug while driving, legal or illegal
- Hands-free, as well as hand-held, mobile phone use to be banned while driving
- Regulated truck and bus operators and their drivers (e.g. working hours)
- Comprehensive enforcement and tough penalties for breach of regulations
To help people bereaved and injured in road crashes we need:
- First class emergency services and hospital care for the injured
- Comprehensive emotional and practical support for people bereaved or with life-changing injuries
21.09.16: World Car Free Day