AA’s Election Calls for making our roads safer

Published: Mon 3 Oct 2011 05:03 PM
3 October 2011
AA’s Election Calls for making our roads safer
The AA has set out 10 actions we want the next Government to take to improve road safety.
Leading up to the general election on November 26, the AA has sent its Election Calls to every MP, detailing changes the association wants to see that will make our roads safer for everyone.
New Zealand’s Safer Journeys road safety strategy for 2010-2020 is based on a ‘safe system’ approach endorsed by the AA. This recognises that there is no single “silver bullet” solution for improving road safety and real progress requires everyone to work towards the goal of having safer drivers, in safer vehicles travelling at safer speeds on safer roads.
The AA’s Election Calls reflect actions that should be taken in each area to reduce the number of crashes on our roads:
Safe drivers
• Introduce saliva-based roadside drugged driving testing.
• Increase rehabilitation treatment for recidivist drunk drivers.
• Extend the minimum learner licence period to 12 months rather than six months.
Safe vehicles
• Raise the safety standards of imported vehicles requiring new cars to have electronic stability control and a minimum NCAP crash rating of 4 stars and used cars to have at least a 3 star NCAP rating or meet suitable safety standards.
Safe roads and roadsides
• Reprioritise transport spending so an extra $150 million a year is spent on low-cost road safety engineering improvements.
• Dedicate any new traffic fine revenue to road safety initiatives.
Safe speeds
• Make fixed speed cameras more visible to drivers and signpost fixed speed camera areas.
• Introduce red light cameras in all major cities.
We are also calling for the next Government to fully implement the ‘safe system’ as set out in the Safer Journeys 2010-2020 strategy and do more to have a public conversation with all road users so they understand how they can play their part in making our roads safer for everyone.
More information on why each action is necessary and the benefits they will deliver is available online and any of this text can be attributed to AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon if used in a story.
“The AA is extremely pleased at the significant progress New Zealand is making on road safety with the introduction of the Safer Journeys strategy and more recently the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety and legislation changes like the introduction of alcohol interlocks and tougher young driver requirements,” says Mr Noon.
“This focus is needed as in 2009, 385 people died and 14541 were injured on our roads.
“The year to date has seen a substantial drop in the road toll, which is fantastic, but we know from comparing ourselves to other countries that we can still do a lot better.
“Taking the actions we are calling for will reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, reduce the economic and social cost of crashes and make driving a safer and more enjoyable activity for all motorists.
“Research and international experience show these calls will deliver significant improvements in making our roads safer for everyone and we are urging all political parties to support them.”

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