So not speed then, a better focus on improving roads

The Police have constantly claimed that lower road tolls are as a result of their focus on speed.

That went spectacularly wrong this holiday period just gone when the road toll ballooned and so did the national road toll.

By constantly claiming it was their actions that lowered the toll the Police set themselves up for failure. If, instead, they had talked about improved vehicle construction utilising side intrusion beams, air bags, crumple zones etc plus discussed roading improvements, then their credibility might still be intact.

As a case in point there is news out of Wellington regarding road design that proves my point.

Wellington’s roads were the envy of Australasia last year, with the region recording the lowest level of road deaths per capita on both sides of the Tasman.

Figures compiled by the Ministry of Transport and the Automobile Association show there were 12 road deaths across Wellington, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Kapiti and Wairarapa in 2014 – 2.4 deaths for every 100,000 people living in the region. That was the lowest per capita rate across both New Zealand and Australia.

Auckland was the next best, with 39 deaths, or 2.5 per 100,000 people.    

The Australian territory with the best record was ACT, which had the same number of road deaths per capita as Auckland. The next best was New South Wales (4.1).

Wellington city councillor and president of the New Zealand Traffic Institute Andy Foster said the Wellington region was seeing the benefits of more median barriers being installed across its state highway network.

A star was the 3.5-kilometre, $15 million barrier on the Centennial Highway south of Paekakariki. In the 10 years before it was installed in 2005, there were 15 fatal and serious crashes.

Since it was built, the barrier has been struck more than 100 times without a single death.

With work having started this week on a median barrier for the SH58 route between Porirua and Hutt Valley, Foster hoped the region’s road safety record would improve further.

Right now I think we are about as low as the road toll will ever get. With an increasing population and more cars on the road reducing it further is probably statistically impossible.

Therefore the greatest impact for road safety is actually on improving our road network. Building more dual carriageways and freeways between cities, removing dangerous bends and improving road surfaces.

Until then if the Police can just shut up about their grand efforts in targeting speed as the single biggest impact on road safety then things will probably improve for them

 

– Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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