Oh yeah, a zero road toll you say, I’d like to see you make that happen

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of Julie Anne Genter’s target of a zero road toll, but that’s what she wants to do.

Stuff reports:

The Government will look at introducing a zero road death policy by 2020 as it strives to curb the country’s “unacceptable” road toll.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter made the announcement at the local government road safety summit in Wellington on Monday, telling guests local and central government needed to work together to make the ambition a reality.

“We need a new [road safety] strategy. We need a clear idea of the outcomes we want and the steps we need to take to get there,” Genter told the 100 or so local government representatives at Wellington’s Rydges Hotel.

“I believe this is a transformational Government. It is a Government that can set ambitious targets, whether on child poverty, on climate change, or road safety.

“Clear, truly ambitious targets drive policy and help deliver meaningful change. That’s why this Government will investigate adopting a target of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.End of quote.

Oh yeah? How are you going to do that? Ban roads? Reduce the speed limit to 5km/h? Wrap all cars in bubble wrap? Make us wear helmets and padded suits when we drive? But Genter thinks it is doable. She explains further:

Genter acknowledged general road safety targets could be hampered by community backlash to “specific safety projects in their backyards, such as median barriers and rumble strips”. She called on local governments to “be brave enough to take the action that we know is going to save lives, and to bring the community with us”.

“We can’t let short-term objections slow us down.”

While the target could be considered “audacious”, all road deaths and serious injuries were avoidable, and New Zealanders had become “desensitised” to the rising casualties, Genter said.

The Government would also no longer refer to the “road toll”, instead referring to “road deaths” to acknowledge the people who had lost their lives and the fact road deaths were not inevitable. End of quote.

Yeah, because changing the words will help… not. Of course, we then get the inevitable comparison with other countries, without realising our roads are crap in comparison: Quote.

Countries including Canada, Sweden, and Norway had adopted a zero road death target and had far lower fatality rates than New Zealand, Genter said.

“Twenty years ago, Sweden had the same fatality rate that New Zealand has today.

“In that intervening period, Sweden adopted ambitious targets, invested heavily in safety infrastructure, set safer speed limits, and today they’re one of the safest countries in the world.

“If New Zealand had the same rate of road deaths per head of population as Sweden, 255 New Zealanders who died last year on our roads would still be alive today.” End of quote.

I love how politicians can always find a country with better results, and if we do what they do then we will get the same results. I’m betting that Sweden has stringent safety requirements for cars, a huge infrastructure spend on roads and way better roads than our winding roads. The key thing here is that, despite all of that nonsense and rewording of how you describe road deaths, Sweden still has road deaths. Not none. And the final piece of stupidity… increasing the cost of vehicle imports: Quote.

The Government would also investigate possible new minimum standards for imported vehicles and assess whether changes to the graduated driver licensing system were working. End of quote.

Great, so they will increase the cost of secondhand cars for their core constituency. Brilliant strategy.

At least National will have new questions each and every question time after a long weekend when people die on the roads. How many more deaths before the minister resigns as an utter failure?


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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