This result area supports the Government’s priority for safety and security

The safe and secure operation of the transport system is an ongoing objective across all of the transport modes. However, the transport system has a number of negative impacts that need to be mitigated, where practicable.

There were 253 fatalities on our roads in 2013 and 297 fatalities in 2014. As such, New Zealand continues to have one of the highest levels of fatalities per kilometre travelled within Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

While New Zealand has seen massive improvements in road safety outcomes under the Safer Journeys road safety strategy, we must not see those gains slip away. The Ministry will look closely at where opportunities for change lie, whether in further policy reform or more operational approaches.

We will, though, need to broaden this focus out, as safety is equally important in other modes. Current areas of concern in the other sectors include the use of drugs and alcohol by those offering transport services in aviation, maritime and rail.

Reducing harms from the transport system goes beyond safety and security issues. New Zealand will be setting a new target for its greenhouse gas emissions in the lead up to the United Nations meeting in Paris in December 2015. Transport contributes 18 per cent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and, as such, it will need to contribute towards our new target. The introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme has not led to a noticeable change in carbon output from the transport sector. Over the next four years, we will need to have a more focused look at how we can reduce transport’s carbon footprint.

The Ministry’s role in reducing transport incidents and other harms

The Ministry seeks to reduce the rates of transport-related deaths and injuries through its policy advice to the Government across the transport modes. The Ministry provides policy advice on various issues that helps to reduce environmental and health harms from the transport system.

What we intend to achieve

The Ministry’s road safety policy advice covers the four dimensions of the Safe System:

  • safe roads and roadsides
  • safe speeds
  • safe vehicles
  • safe road use.

The Safe System approach differs from traditional approaches to road safety. Rather than always blaming the road user for causing a crash, it recognises that even responsible people sometimes make mistakes in their road use. Given that mistakes are inevitable, we need safe roads and safe vehicles to protect people from death or serious injury.

The Ministry led the development of the Safer Journeys road safety strategy, and coordinated the development of the two action plans across a number of agencies for the National Road Safety Committee. The 2013 to 2015 action plan focuses on speed management, ensuring blood alcohol concentration limits appropriately reflect driver risk, drug driving impairment and vehicle safety. The Ministry is leading the implementation of the overall programme, as well as having direct responsibility for a number of actions in the plan.

The Ministry also continues to build its data resource on road safety issues to increasingly enable evidence-based advice to be provided to the Government.

The following projects and activities over the next four years will support fewer incidents and other harms from the transport system.

Implementation of the Safer Journeys action plan 2013–2015

The Ministry will continue to progress, in conjunctionwith its road safety partners, the remaining actionsin the action plan 2013–2015. For 2015, these include the following:

  • deliver speed management actions. In particular, revise the Setting of Speed Limits Rule and measures for better compliance with speed
  • complete policy work for the review of drink drive sanctions, which includes alcohol interlock and drug driving provisions.

Safer Journeys action plan 2016–2020

The Ministry is leading an interim evaluation of Safer Journeys. This review will evaluate progress to date and contribute to the development of the third Safer Journeys action plan that will set out the next set of initiatives to be explored and implemented. This will help to continue improving the safety of the roading system for all of its users.

Driver licensing review

The Ministry will complete a review of the current Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule, ensuring it reflects the needs of the transport system. The review aims to clarify the Rule, reducing and simplifying compliance requirements and transactions. We will provide advice to the Government on changes to the Rule in 2015, with any legislative changes to be progressed through a Land Transport Amendment Bill.

Aviation safety management system rule

Regulatory changes are being implemented to transition New Zealand’s aviation sector to a new risk-based safety management system (a formalised and systematic method to proactively identify, assess and control safety-related risks). International research shows that additional safety gains are unlikely under the current regulatory regime, but that further safety gains can be achieved by moving to a new risk-based approach. The Ministry will advise the Minister of Transport on the final rule changes to give effect to the new system, and the Civil Aviation Authority will be responsible for implementing the new aviation safety management system. Once these changes are implemented, both the aviation and maritime sectors will be subject to risk-based safety management systems.

Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions profile of road transport

The Ministry will continue to work with other government agencies to identify cost-effective ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions profile of road transport.

How performance will be assessed

Results – the Ministry will know that it has achieved its stated result if, by 2025, there is:

  • a reduction in the number of deaths and serious injuries across the transport system of 20 per cent or more
  • a continued reduction in the rate of growth of tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions from domestic transport per capita over the medium term.

Success – the Ministry will know that it has been successful over the next two to four years if:

  • the safety of the roading system has increased through the implementation of the Safe System approach (improved roads and roadsides; the availability of safer vehicles; and a reduced number of death and serious injury crashes from speed and impaired drivers)
  • the transport sector and public understand the changes that will be required within the transport system over the next 20 plus years for New Zealand to meet any new greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets
  • cost-effective technologies that reduce harm in the transport system are increasingly being adopted/mandated
  • there is an appropriate regime in place to reduce the risks of alcohol and drug related impairment across transport’s commercial and recreational sectors
  • the Ministry has a broader understanding of the transport and wider benefits that could arise through additional investment in the active modes.


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