26 Apr New ATAP a bold step for safer Auckland travel
Victim Support is congratulating the Government and Auckland City Council for upping the ante on Auckland’s road safety.
“After five consecutive years of rapid growth in deaths and serious injuries on Auckland roads, the 2018 ATAP finally offers credible steps to begin turning around Auckland’s serious road safety challenges,” says Victim Support Chief Executive Kevin Tso.
Deaths and serious injuries on the Auckland transport network have almost doubled over the last five years, from 421 in 2012, to 813 in 2017, painting a daunting trajectory for a city growing in population at over 50,000 people a year.
“These aren’t just meaningless numbers. Behind every statistic is a family without a breadwinner, a life turned upside down, a child left without a parent, or a parent left without a child,” says Mr Tso.
“While driver behaviour will always be the biggest contributor to crash statistics, there are practical steps that government can take to help. The new ATAP sets out an evidence-based approach backed with substantive funding.
“For example, more than two-thirds of Auckland’s transport related deaths and serious injuries take place in 50km speed zones, with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists particularly vulnerable. We can’t make serious inroads without addressing this challenge, so targeted speed limit reductions in high risk areas and improvements to cycling infrastructure are badly needed.
“While we would always like to see more, $900 million to create safer infrastructure and contribute to better driver behaviours is a significant and welcome boost.
“Much of the Auckland roading network was not built for the traffic volumes it bears. This funding is needed to upgrade 10-12 of the city’s highest risk intersections and 200 kilometres of high risk roads annually. Taking those sorts of steps toward better hazard management will make a tangible difference.
“Victim Support has also challenged the government previously to set clear targets against which it can be held accountable. While the commitment to reduce Auckland road deaths and serious injuries by 60 per cent is ambitious, we are particularly glad to see the Government and Council are prepared to put themselves under pressure to improve safety outcomes.”
Victim Support is New Zealand’s primary organisation for the support of people affected or bereaved by road crashes. In 2017, the nationwide charity provided support and advice to 2307 people bereaved by a fatal vehicle crash (453 in Auckland), and another 1146 seriously affected by non-fatal incidents (278 in Auckland).