Transport Minister Michael Wood and Police Minister Poto Williams have today launched the Road to Zero public awareness campaign, which sets a target of zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050, and a 40 per cent reduction by 2030.
“There should be zero tolerance for people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. The Road to Zero strategy is part of our plan to build the safest road system we can, and work towards zero road deaths and serious injuries,” Michael Wood said.
“We’re aiming for significant reductions in a relatively short space of time, and we’re targeting all aspects of the transport system to get there. We’re investing in safer infrastructure, we’re working to get more people into safer vehicles, we’re rolling out safer speed limits, and we’re refocusing on targeted and effective Police enforcement.
“Road to Zero is not about any single initiative but about how we develop an overall safer system. It’s important for people to know that a large reduction in road deaths and serious injuries is achievable – the measures that are being introduced are internationally proven and have reduced deaths and serious injuries when systematically rolled out.
“There’s a huge amount of work being done, and we won’t get to zero deaths and serious injuries overnight, but by having zero as the goal and working towards it with a clear plan and a hard target for 2030, we can save thousands of lives, which is well worth fighting for,” Michael Wood said.
Poto Williams says the Government has taken steps to strengthen the leadership, governance, and reporting for the delivery of Road to Zero, including a renewed focus on the vital role of Police enforcement to deter impaired driving and other unsafe behaviour.
“New Zealanders can be assured that our commitment to saving lives and preventing injuries on our roads is genuine and strong. We’re investing $2.9 billion in Road to Zero activities over the next three years, including $1.2 billion for road policing, which is an increase of $140 million compared with the previous three years. We’ve also commissioned an independent review to ensure that our road policing activities and safety infrastructure investments are effectively prioritised, delivered, and monitored as part of Road to Zero.
“Every death and every serious injury on our roads has a devastating impact on a large number of people – whānau, friends, colleagues and neighbours, as well as our first responders. It’s time we stopped accepting that a certain amount of death and serious injury is just the price we all pay for moving around. We need to move past the whole idea of a ‘road toll’ paid in human lives. No one deserves to die or be seriously injured on our roads,” Poto Williams said.