1. Introduction

The New Zealand survey of Public Attitudes to Road Safety has been undertaken periodically since 1974, and annually since 1994, to evaluate attitudes to road safety issues, primarily alcohol-impaired driving and speed. From 1994 to 2004, the survey was conducted for the Land Transport Safety Authority. From 2005, it has been conducted for the Ministry of Transport.

The survey is focused on alcohol, speed and safety belts. In addition, respondents are asked their views on more general road safety issues. A question on fatigue was added for the first time in 2007.

This report presents the results of the survey under the following headings:

  • general attitudes to road safety and enforcement
  • alcohol-impaired driving
  • compulsory breath testing (CBT)
  • speed and speed enforcement
  • speed cameras
  • general enforcement and compliance
  • safety belts and child restraints
  • roading

2. Method

The fieldwork for the survey was carried out by an independent survey company, National Research Bureau. Surveys were carried out in May and June of each year by trained interviewers who conducted face-to-face interviews in respondents' homes.

The sample was chosen to be representative of the New Zealand adult population, and included men and women aged 15 and over from towns, cities and rural areas throughout New Zealand. In 2007, 1640 people were interviewed, 1469 of whom held drivers' licences. Further details of the sample and methodology may be found in Appendix A.

Overview

2.1 Speed and alcohol

were widely acknowledged as major road safety problems. Only eight percent of New Zealanders didn't acknowledge that drink-driving is risky, with little change over the last six years (Figure 1). One in six (16 percent) agreed that speeding wasn't risky as long as you were careful. Both these attitudes have shown little change over the last six years, following a period of rapid improvement during the late 1990s.

Figure 1: People who agreed that there isn't much chance of an accident if careful when... (decreasing is good)

2007 attitudes towards speeding and drink driving

2.2 Enforcement

Public support for alcohol, speed and seatbelt enforcement continues to be high. 45% would like to see an increase in Police efforts to enforce road safety laws and a further 47% want it maintained at the current level. Three-quarters of New Zealanders say that compulsory breath testing (CBT) and speed enforcement help to lower the road toll. Support for seatbelt enforcement is even higher, with 90% agreeing that seatbelt enforcement helps lower the road toll.

2.3 Trends

Over the last four years there has been a decrease in the perceived risk of being caught speeding or drink-driving, though there are some signs this trend is now being reversed (see Figure 2). Several other indicators moved in the wrong direction between 2004 and 2006; many of these have shown improvement in 2007 but sustained effort will be necessary if the gains of the 2000-2004 years are to be maintained.

Figure 2: People who agreed that the risk of being caught is small when.... (decreasing is good)

2007 attitudes towards risk of being caught when not wearing a seatbelt, drink driving and speeding

3. General attitudes to road safety and enforcement

3.1 How safe is road travel in New Zealand?

Seven percent of New Zealanders described road travel in this country as 'very safe'. A further 73 percent described it as 'fairly safe' 17 percent described it as 'fairly unsafe' and 3 percent as 'very unsafe'. This perception of safety has remained relatively stable over the last decade.

3.2 Road safety enforcement

Overall, public support for Police enforcement remains high. Public demand for more enforcement effort is similar to 2006 levels and has increased slightly after a small drop in 2004 and 2005. Forty-five percent of New Zealanders think that Police effort to catch people breaking road safety laws should be increased further (compared to 44 percent in 2006 and 38 percent in 2005). A further 47 percent wanted that effort maintained at current levels. Only six percent thought Police effort should be decreased*.

3.3 Penalties

There has been a detectable shift in attitudes towards penalties over the last 3 years. In 2007, 41 percent of New Zealanders said that penalties should be increased, compared to 36 percent in 2006, and 33 percent in 2005. Only five percent were in favour of reducing the severity of penalties.

3.4 Advertising

Prior to the introduction of an intensive advertising and enforcement campaign in 1995, 60 percent of New Zealand adults thought that there should be more publicity and advertising about road safety. In mid-2006, 40 percent thought that such advertising should be increased further. This has fluctuated around the same level since 2000. Fifty-five percent thought the amount of advertising should remain at current levels. Only 4 percent wanted to see a reduction in publicity and advertising about road safety.

3.5 Road design and standards

Only 11 percent of New Zealanders described the design and standard of the roads they normally used as 'very safe'. A further 72 percent thought that their usual roads were 'fairly safe'. 16 percent described the roads they normally used as 'very unsafe' or 'fairly unsafe'. There has been little change in this perception over the last decade.

3.6 Northland residents were most likely to describe the design and standards of their roads as unsafe - only 46 percent of Northland residents described the design and standard of the roads they normally used as 'very' or 'fairly' unsafe. The next lowest rating was from Gisborne residents, with 75 percent rating their usual roads as 'very' or 'fairly' unsafe.

3.7 Fatigue

For the first time in 2007, respondents were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the statement "Driving when you are tired increases the chance you might have an accident". Almost everyone (98%) agreed with the statement. 57 percent said they strongly agreed and 41 percent said they agreed. Almost all of the remaining 2 percent were neutral. Fewer than half a percent of respondents disagreed with the statement.

*Answers to this and other questions may not add to 100 percent due to rounding and in some cases because a small number of people answered 'Don't know'.

4. Alcohol-impaired driving

4.1 The last decade has seen some improvements in attitudes to alcohol, but there are signs that these improvements may not be maintained without sustained effort (see Figure 3 and 4).

Figure 3: Attitudes to alcohol (increasing is good)

2007 attitudes to alcohol

Figure 4: Attitudes to alcohol (decreasing is good)

2007 attitudes to alcohol

4.2 Risk of crash

Recognition of the risk of drink-driving is being maintained at a high level. Only 8% of New Zealanders agree that 'there is not much chance of an accident when driving after drinking if you are careful' (see Fig.1 in the Overview section above). This has not changed significantly since 2001. Men were less likely than women (10% of men agreed with the statement compared with 6% of women) to recognise the risk of drink-driving. One in seven young men aged 15 to 24 (14%) said that there wasn't much chance of an accident when driving after drinking.

4.3 People living in Northland, the Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay were least likely to acknowledge the risks of drink driving. 15% of Northlanders, 13% of Bay of Plenty residents and 12% of Hawkes Bay residents said that 'there is not much chance of an accident when driving after drinking, if you are careful'.

4.4 Social influences

Peer pressure and social drinking are strong influences. More than a third (35%) said that it was hard to keep track of what they drank on social occasions, and a similar proportion (37%) said it was difficult to 'go easy' when drinking with friends. These measures have changed very little over the last ten years.

4.5 Young people under 25 were most likely to agree with these statements. Almost half (48%) of the young men aged 15 to 24 said that it was difficult to 'go easy' when drinking with friends.

4.6 Self-reported drink-driving

The percentage of people who said they had driven while slightly intoxicated during the 12 months before the survey, fell between 1995 and 1999, but has remained fairly static since. In 2007, 23% of drivers (30% of males) said they had driven while slightly intoxicated, compared with 30% (41% of males) in 1995. (Of course, the public perception of what 'slightly intoxicated' means may have changed over this period; this survey does not attempt to assess this).

4.7 People who said that they had driven while slightly intoxicated were more likely than others to say they enjoyed driving fast, and to have had a speeding ticket in the previous year.

4.8 Drink-driving enforcement

Well over one third (38%) of New Zealanders said that the risk of being caught drink-driving was small. This result was similar for all age groups and for both men and women. Gains were made in this area over the decade 1995 - 2004, shown by a decrease from 49% agreement with this statement in 1995 to 32% in 2004, as New Zealanders became increasingly aware of the effectiveness of drink-driving enforcement. However the improvement has not been sustained in the last two years. Figure 2 (in the Overview section above) compares this trend to the perceptions of being caught speeding or without a seatbelt.

4.9 Effectiveness of law

Fifty-six percent of New Zealanders agreed that our drink-driving laws were 'very' or 'quite' effective at reducing the road toll. This is a very similar level to last year, but is less than in the earlier years of this decade, when the number varied between 60% and 64%. Forty percent said that the drink-driving laws were not very effective. Only 3% thought that New Zealand's drink-driving laws had no effect on the road toll.

4.10 Penalties

The view that 'penalties for drinking and driving are not very severe even if you are caught' has become less prevalent over the last decade, as people have become more aware of the penalties incurred for drink-driving. In 2007, 49% agreed with this statement, compared to 57% in 1998 before roadside licence suspension and vehicle impoundment were introduced.

4.11 Blood alcohol limit

Forty-eight percent of New Zealanders favour a lower legal blood-alcohol limit for driving. This is a significant increase from 40% in 2006, and is the highest support recorded since the question was first asked in 1994.

4.12 36% percent thought the limit should be lowered from 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml (compared with 29% in 2006), and a further 12% (11% in 2006) wanted it lowered to zero. Only 4% were in favour of raising the legal limit. 42% wanted the limit left as it is, and the remaining 6% said they had no opinion on the subject.

4.13 Support for lowering the limit was lowest among people aged 15-19. Only 36% of this group wanted a lower limit, compared with 51% of those aged between 20 and 49.

5. Compulsory breath testing (CBT)

5.1 There has been a pick-up in attitudes towards breath-testing this year, after some shifts in the wrong direction during 2005 and 2006. In most cases however there is still some way to go to regain the lost ground (see Figure 5 and Figure 6).

Figure 5: Attitudes to checkpoints (increasing is good)

2007 attitudes to check points

Figure 6: Attitudes to checkpoints (decreasing is good)

2007 attitudes towards checkpoints

5.2 CBT lowers road toll

Three quarters (75%) of New Zealanders agreed that 'compulsory breath testing (CBT) helps to lower the road toll'. This is similar to the last few years. Only 15% disagreed with this statement. The remaining 10% said they were neutral or didn't know.

5.3 Checkpoints

The number of people who said that they 'seldom saw checkpoints except during blitzes', is similar to the last two years, at 65% after a decrease in 2003 and 2004.

5.4 Thirty-eight percent of drivers reported having been stopped at an alcohol checkpoint during the preceding 12 months. Eleven percent of all drivers reported that they had been stopped at a checkpoint three or more times in the last year. These results are similar to 2006.

5.5 Chance of being stopped late at night

Fifty-four percent of New Zealanders surveyed thought there was a good chance of being stopped at a checkpoint if driving late at night. This is a return to the 2005 level after a decrease to 48% during 2006. 30% disagreed with the statement (compared to 33% in 2006); the remaining 16% said they were neutral or didn't know.

5.6 Chance of being stopped, by driving situation

Results were very similar to those for the last three years. Just over half (58%) said they would expect to be stopped and tested if they were drink-driving in a large city. This is higher than the perceived risk of being caught in a small town (31%), on a major highway (36%), or on a rural road (15%).

5.7 Chance of being stopped, by time of day

Overall, awareness of compulsory breath testing has increased over the last ten years. Some progress has been made over the last year to reverse the recent decline, especially in the before-midnight time slots (see Figure 7).

Figure 7: Chance of being stopped and tested if drink-driving during...

2007 attitudes to chance of being stopped and tested if drink driving during certain times

5.8 Fifty-six percent of New Zealanders said they would expect to be stopped and breath-tested if they were drink-driving between 10pm and midnight, but fewer than half (44%) would expect to be caught if they were drink-driving between midnight and 2am. 41% said they would expect to be caught if drink-driving between 6pm and 10pm, a significant increase from last year and the highest result in the last decade. Only just over a quarter (27%) thought they would be caught if drinking and driving late at night, between 2am and 8am, and only 15% said they would expect to be caught if they were drink-driving in the daytime (8am - 6pm).

5.9 Avoiding checkpoints

About a third of New Zealanders (36%) said that they could tell where checkpoints would be, and about a quarter (25%) claimed to use the back streets to drive home when they might be over the limit. This has remained essentially unchanged since 1998.

5.10 More than 60% of Gisborne region residents thought they could tell where checkpoints would be, as did about half those in Northland and the West Coast, compared to the national average of 36%.

5.11 Twenty-nine percent said they could often avoid checkpoints if they saw them early enough, a similar result to last year. 15-19 year olds were most likely to think they could avoid checkpoints (46%), dropping to 35% among the 20-24 age group. This probably reflects their degree of driving experience - encouragingly, only 26% of driver licence holders thought they could avoid checkpoints, compared with 49% of non-drivers.

5.12 Compulsory screening

Seventeen percent of New Zealanders said that some people stopped at checkpoints were not tested even when they were over the limit. This has shown a gradual increase from a low of 13% in 2004.

5.13 Again, drivers tended to have a more cautious attitude toward checkpoints than non-drivers. 16% of drivers, but 29% of non-drivers thought some people weren't tested at checkpoints. This pattern was similar across all age groups.

6. Speed and speed enforcement

6.1 The majority of New Zealanders recognise the risks of speeding and support enforcement of the speed limit. More people than in the last couple of years think that speeders are likely to be caught and that the enforcement measures are fair.

Figure 8: Attitudes to speed enforcement (increasing is good)

2007 attitudes to speed enforcement

Figure 9: Attitudes to speed and speed enforcement (decreasing is good)

2007 attitudes to speed and speed enforcement

6.2 Risk of crash

Recognition of the risk of speeding increased between 1995 and 2002, but little progress has been made in the last four to six years. In 2007, 16% of New Zealanders agreed with the statement 'there is not much chance of an accident when speeding if you are careful'. This is similar to the 2004-2006 levels, but a significant improvement on 24% agreement with this statement before the campaign began in 1995(see Figure 1 in the Overview section).

6.3 As with other questions, it is encouraging that driver licence holders showed a more cautious attitude than non-drivers - 14% of current drivers thought there wasn't much chance of an accident when speeding as long as they were careful, compared with 28% of non-drivers.

6.4 Failing to acknowledge the risk was more common among people who had had a speeding ticket (28% agreed with the statement), among males (19%) and people aged 60 and over (19%).

6.5 Like driving fast

More than one-third (35%) of drivers said that they enjoyed driving fast on the open road. This is a return to the 2005 level after an increase to 39% in 2006. Overall, 41% of males and 30% of females said they liked driving fast on the open road. Two thirds (65%) of male drivers aged 15-24 said that they liked driving fast.

6.6 Effectiveness of enforcement

Support for speed enforcement remains high. In mid- 2007, 75% of New Zealanders agreed with the statement 'enforcing the speed limit helps to lower the road toll' 14% disagreed and 10% said they were neutral on this issue. This has changed little since 1995.

6.7 Risk of being caught

Awareness of speed enforcement increased markedly between 2000 and 2004, but little improvement has been seen in recent years (see Figure 2 in the Overview section). In mid-2007, 29% of New Zealanders agreed with the statement 'the risk of being caught speeding is small'. People aged 60 and over were most likely to say that the risk of being caught was small (33%); by comparison, only 22% of those in their twenties thought this.

6.8 Speed limits

The great majority of New Zealanders (87%) thought that speed limits on the roads they normally use are about right. 5% said they were too high and 7% that they were too low. There has been a gradual decrease in the number saying speed limits were too low, and a corresponding increase in the number saying speed limits were about right'

6.9 When people were asked directly whether the 100 km/h speed limit should be raised, lowered or kept as it is, 77% said they wanted it kept as it is and a further 5% thought it should be lowered. The minority saying that the 100 km/h limit should be raised has decreased from 27% in 1995 to 17% in 2007. One quarter (25%) of young males aged 15 to 24 said the speed limit should be raised

6.10 In urban areas, the majority were even more strongly in favour of retaining the current 50 km/h speed limit. 90% of New Zealanders said that the urban 50km/h speed limit should be retained or lowered. Since these questions were first asked in 1995, there has been in a gradual decline in support for raising speed limits, from 21% in 1995 to 11% in 2006 and 8% in 2007 (see Figure 10).

Figure 10: Percentage who said speed limit should be raised

2007 attitudes: percentage who said speed limit should be raised

6.11 Definition of speeding

Participants were asked 'On the open road, what speed do you consider to be speeding?'. Fifty-eight percent named speeds of 115 km/h or lower as 'speeding'. The mean speed named was just over 114 km/h. This may reflect widespread knowledge of the 10 km/h enforcement tolerance applied by Police in practice. Young males aged 15 to 24, people who said they liked driving fast, and those who admitted to driving while intoxicated, were more likely than other groups to name high speeds.

6.12 Automatic licence suspension for speeding

Most New Zealanders found extremely high speeds unacceptable. From 16 January 2006, the threshold for automatic licence suspension became 40 km/h over the posted permanent speed limit, or 140 km/h on the open road. Automatic loss of licence at 140 km/h was described as fair or very fair by 78% of New Zealanders. This has gradually increased over the last decade from 66% in 1995. Only 9% said automatic loss of licence at 140 km/h would be unfair (the remainder were neutral or said they didn't know).

6.13 Just over half (52%) said automatic licence loss would be fair at 130 km/h on the open road. This has increased from 35% in 1995.

6.14 The question asked how fair or unfair it would be for a driver to 'automatically lose their licence'. The actual penalty is licence suspension for 28 days. It is possible that the 'loss of licence' referred to in the question sounds harsher than a 28-day suspension, so the responses may in fact underestimate public support for this penalty.

6.15 Speeding in urban areas was also regarded as highly unacceptable: 93% supported loss of licence for speeding at 90 km/h in a 50km/h zone. This has gradually increased from 86% in 1995. Four fifths (80%) supported automatic loss of licence at 80 km/h, and close to half (46%) were in favour of automatic licence loss at 70 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. Again, these have gradually increased since 1995, when the corresponding figures were 59% and 28%, respectively.

6.16 Repeat offending

Sixty-nine percent of New Zealanders said that it would be fair or very fair for three speeding tickets in a year to result in automatic loss of licence. This is a return to former levels after a softening in opinion in 2004 and 2005 (see Figure 8). 15% said automatic licence loss for three tickets in a year would be unfair or very unfair, and 16% were neutral on this issue or said they didn't know.

6.17 Self-reported speeding infringements

One in six (16%) drivers reported receiving at least one speeding ticket in the previous year. This is similar to recent years. Twenty percent of men and 11% of women reported receiving a speeding ticket in the year preceding the survey. Not surprisingly, people who said they liked driving fast were more likely (21%) to have had a speeding ticket than those who disliked driving fast (11%).

6.18 People living in Manawatu/ Wanganui, Bay of Plenty and Canterbury were most likely to report having received a speeding ticket (around twenty percent of drivers). At the other end of the scale, only 6-7% of Otago and Waikato drivers in the survey said they had received a ticket.

6.19 Twenty-three percent of male drivers aged 15-24 had received a speeding ticket in the previous year.

6.20 Chance of receiving a ticket

New Zealanders now expect to be caught if they speed past a speed camera (see section 7, 'Speed cameras'), but are less convinced that they'll be stopped if they're passing a Police officer without a camera.

6.21 The number of people who would expect to get a ticket if passing a Police officer (without a speed camera), at various speeds, has returned to 2005 levels after a drop in 2006 (see Figure 11).

Figure 11: Chance of receiving a ticket if passing a Police officer (without a camera) at various speeds

2007 attitudes to chance of receiving a ticket if passing a police officer without a camera at various speeds

6.22 Forty-one percent said there would be a high or very high chance of receiving a speeding ticket if they drove past a Police officer without a camera at 115 km/h, compared to 35% in 2006 and 43% in 2005. In contrast, 75% said they would be likely to get a ticket if they drove past a speed camera at 115 km/h (see Figure 12).

Figure 12: Perceived chance of receiving a ticket if driving at 115 km/h past a...

2007 attitudes to perceived chance of receiving a ticket when driving at 115km/hr passing a speed camera and police officer

6.23 Nearly one third (31%) said there was a low or very low chance of receiving a ticket if they drove past a Police officer at 115 km/h, and one in nine (11%) thought the chance was low at 120 km/h. Young people under 25 were most likely to say that the chance of receiving a ticket from a Police Officer was low.

6.24 Sixty-six percent thought there would be a high or very high chance of receiving a speeding ticket if they drove past a Police officer without a camera at 120 km/h (compared with 89% if driving past a speed camera at 120 km/h). This is a return to the 2005 level after a slight drop in 2006.

7. Speed cameras

Figure 13: Attitudes to speed cameras (increasing is good)

2007 attitudes to speed cameras

7.1 Effectiveness of speed cameras

The majority of New Zealand adults (61%) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement 'Using speed cameras helps lower the road toll'. This has fluctuated around 60% for the last six years. 26% disagreed that speed cameras help to lower the road toll and 13% were neutral on this issue.

7.2 Cameras operated fairly

Sixty-four percent agreed that 'the way speed cameras are being operated is fair'. (19% disagreed with this statement and 17% were neutral on this issue or had no opinion). Over the last two years agreement with this statement has increased after dropping to 58% in 2004 and 2005 (see Figure 13).

7.3 Chance of receiving a ticket

Over the last decade New Zealanders have become more aware of speed camera enforcement, but the improvement has leveled off since 2004.

7.4 The percentage who said that they would be 'likely' or 'very likely' to receive a ticket if they passed a speed camera at 115 km/h increased from 56% in 2000 to 78% in 2004, but has remained in the mid-70s since. In 2007, 75% of New Zealanders agreed with this statement (see Figure 12 above). 37% said they would expect to receive a ticket if they passed a speed camera at 110 km/h. This is a return to the 2005 level after a decrease to 32% in 2006. (For a comparison with the perceived chance of receiving a ticket when passing a Police officer without a camera, see sections 6.20-6.24).

7.5 Awareness of cameras

Thirty-five percent of New Zealanders said that they often saw speed cameras on their usual roads. This is similar to the last three years, but significantly lower than in the years 1999 to 2003 when it was around 40-42%.

7.6 Hidden cameras

Participants were asked 'Do you support or oppose the use of hidden speed cameras to catch speeding drivers?'. As in earlier years, the great majority of New Zealanders supported the use of hidden cameras. 63% of New Zealanders said they supported or strongly supported the use of hidden cameras, while 20% were opposed or strongly opposed to their use. Support for hidden cameras has increased from 56% in 2004 when the question was first asked.

8. General enforcement and compliance

8.1 General traffic enforcement

Thirty-four percent of New Zealanders thought that a driver who broke a traffic law (other than drink-driving or speeding) was likely to be stopped by the Police. This has remained at a similar level since 2003.

8.2 Vehicle impoundment

A large majority of New Zealanders (90%) support vehicle impoundment for disqualified or repeated unlicensed driving. This increased from 84% when first asked in 1998, to 89% in 2002, and has remained at a similar level since then.

8.3 Unmarked police vehicles for traffic enforcement

Several questions about the use of unmarked vehicles (other than speed camera vehicles), to detect offending on the roads, were asked for the first time in 2004. Some questions were altered in 2007.

8.4 In 2007, 92% of New Zealanders were aware that Police use a fleet of unmarked vehicles to detect traffic offending. Awareness was high across all age groups and throughout NZ.

8.5 The form of this question was changed in 2007. In earlier years, the question specifically excluded the use of speed cameras in unmarked Police cars. In mid-2006, 83% of New Zealanders were aware of the use of unmarked vehicles for traffic enforcement (other than the use of speed cameras). This was a slight decrease from 87% in 2005.

8.6 Those who were aware of the unmarked cars were asked to list all of the ways they'd become aware of them. Most people had seen someone else being ticketed (36%), and/or had seen an officer in an unmarked car (35%). 28% had heard about the cars from someone else, 16% mentioned that they'd heard about the cars through the media, and 7% had personally received a ticket from an officer in an unmarked car. 5% said they recognised the model, licence plates, aerial or other features of the cars.

8.7 Most people thought that unmarked cars were an effective and fair road safety measure. 70% of those who were aware of unmarked cars said the use of unmarked cars to detect traffic offending was 'very effective' or 'quite effective' in helping to reduce the road toll. 24% thought the use of unmarked cars was not very effective and only 2% said they had no effect. (The remaining 4% did not express an opinion).

8.8 When asked how fair or unfair it would be for a driver to have his or her traffic offending detected by an unmarked police car, 86% of those who were aware of the use of unmarked cars said that this would be 'fair' or 'very fair'. Only 5% said it would be 'unfair' or 'very unfair' (the remaining 9% were neutral on this issue).

9. Safety belts and child restraints

9.1 Perceptions relating to safety belts were very similar to those for previous years.

Figure 14: Attitudes to safety belts (increasing is good)

2007 attitudes to safety belts

Figure 15: Attitudes to safety belts (decreasing is good)

2007 attitudes to safety belts

 

9.2 Effectiveness of safety belts

As in previous years, almost all New Zealanders (95%) agreed that safety belts are effective in reducing the road toll. Young people were least likely to recognise the effectiveness of safety belts -10% of those aged 15-24 said safety belts were not very effective in reducing the road toll.

9.3 Effectiveness of safety belt enforcement

Ninety percent of New Zealanders agree that enforcing the use of safety belts helps to lower the road toll. This has remained fairly constant at this high level over the last decade.

9.4 Enforcement of adult safety belt use

Thirty-eight percent of New Zealanders thought it 'likely' or 'very likely' that they would be caught if they drove without wearing a safety belt. This has remained stable at 36-40% since 2004 after a significant improvement from earlier years (see Figure 14).

9.5 Only a quarter (25%) of young males aged 15-24 thought it was likely that they would be caught if they drove without a safety belt.

9.6 If travelling as a front-seat passenger without a safety belt, 37% would expect to be stopped by Police. For rear seat passengers, only 18% said it was 'likely' or 'very likely' that they would be stopped if they travelled unbelted in the rear seat.

Figure 16: Chance that an adult will be caught if not wearing a seatbelt while...

2007 attitudes to chance that an adult will be caught if not wearing a seatbelt when driving, front seat passenger, and back seat passenger

9.7 Child restraint enforcement

The general perception is that child restraint use is more rigorously enforced than adult safety belt use. Half of those asked said there was a high chance of being stopped if travelling with an unrestrained child in the front seat, but only 32% said this would be the case if the child was in the back seat. These have shown a steady increase over the last decade, from 41% and 26%, respectively in 1995.

9.8 Penalties

Well over a third of New Zealanders (40%) said that the penalties for not wearing a safety belt were not very severe even if you were caught.

10. Roading

A set of supplementary questions on road engineering and design was asked for the first time in 2002.

10.1 Importance of roading improvements

Respondents were asked how important improving road engineering and design is for road safety. 74% said that improving road engineering and design would be 'very important' for road safety, and a further 23% said it would be 'fairly important'. The number of people who rated roading improvements as 'very' or 'fairly' important for road safety has remained at a high level since the question was first asked in 2002.

10.2 Roading priorities

Between 2002 and 2006, respondents were asked a series of questions designed to prioritise the importance of safety engineering improvements to different types of road, and for pedestrians and cyclists. These questions are now asked in even numbered years only, beginning in 2008.

Appendix A | Appendix B