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Safe speeds save lives - Waka Kotahi and Police get behind Road Safety Week

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Waka Kotahi and NZ Police are urging all New Zealanders to support safer speeds during Road Safety Week 2021, as New Zealand commits to a future for Aotearoa where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads.

New Zealand will mark Road Safety Week 2021 from May 17-23, with a specific focus on the need for safer speeds in communities across the country. 

“Road Safety Week is a timely reminder that everyone deserves to feel safe whenever they travel - whether they are driving, walking or cycling. Waka Kotahi is a key sponsor of Road Safety Week, and we’re fully committed to Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy. Road to Zero establishes a vision of an Aotearoa where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads, with an initial target of a 40 percent reduction in deaths and serious injuries by 2030,” says Kane Patena, Waka Kotahi Director of Land Transport. 

“Reaching that target will require action in many areas, from encouraging people to make the right choices when using our roads to infrastructure improvements, encouraging people to buy safer vehicles and setting safer speed limits. A key part of any safe transport system is safe travel speeds, because even when speed doesn’t cause a crash, it most often determines whether or not someone is killed or seriously injured, especially when a crash involves a person on foot or on a bike,” Mr Patena says. 

Police is pleased to support Road Safety Week 2021. 

“As a committed Road to Zero partner our dedicated road policing staff are out on our roads every day targeting and preventing unsafe behaviour to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, Director Road Policing. 

Police also supports the safer speed limit work being undertaken by Waka Kotahi and the Ministry of Transport. 

Speed is the single biggest determinant in whether someone walks away or is carried away after a crash. A small change in speed makes a big difference to injury severity – for the driver and everyone else involved. Less speed means less harm,” says Mr Greally. 

Kane Patena says Waka Kotahi together with the Ministry of Transport are currently consulting on proposed changes which aim to ensure that safer speed limits are set outside all New Zealand schools. The proposed changes would require speed limits around urban schools to be reduced to 30km/h, with a maximum of 40 km/h where appropriate, and a maximum of 60 km/h around rural schools.

“We want everyone to get where they’re going safely every time they travel, and we need safe speeds for safe trips.” 

This year is the 10th anniversary of Road Safety Week New Zealand(external link) and the week coincides with the 7th UN Global Road Safety Week(external link).

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