Result in the updated KiwiRAP New Zealand road risk-ratings launched today show an improving road safety picture over the last five years on state highways in Canterbury, the West Coast, Tasman and the Nelson/ Marlborough region.
KiwiRAP is an internationally recognised road assessment programme that identifies state highways where crash risks are highest, so that safety improvements can be better targeted. KiwiRAP is supported in New Zealand by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), the New Zealand Automobile Association (AA), the Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Police and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Canterbury-West Coast State highways Manager Colin Knaggsn, says over 80 percent of State highways in these regions are now in the Medium Low or Low collective KiwiRap risk bands. There were no high collective risk highways in these regions.
The KiwiRAP ratings cover High, Medium-High, Medium, Low-Medium and Low risk bands measured for two key categories:
Fatal and serious injury crashes on rural state highways in the Canterbury/ West Coast, Tasman and Nelson/Marlborough regions has decreased from X in 2002-2006 to X in 2007-2011.
Mr Knaggs said KiwiRAP is a powerful tool for increasing public awareness that not all roads are equal. This can help road users to know where they need to take more care in some areas in comparison with others, including always driving to the conditions. This relates directly to the ‘Safe System’ approach (part of the Safer Journeys strategy), that focuses on safe speeds and safe vehicles and recognises that drivers do make mistakes in its ‘safe road users’ focus.
Another focus is on ‘safer roads and roadsides’ that ties in with the NZTA’s ongoing assessment of the highway network and our safety improvement work. Where crashes happen the Agency works to minimise their impact through various measures such crash barriers or removing road side hazards such as trees he said.
Colin Knaggs said while around the majority of highways Canterbury/ West Coast, Tasman and Nelson/Marlborough highways are in the Medium Low, or Low collective risk bands, other have scope for improvement. One of these is State highway 1 between Waipapra and Kaikoura with its medium-high collective risk rating. Just over 80% of crashes on this section of busy highway involve the driver losing control.
The NZTA had made a major investment in safety improvement work on this highway over the last ten years, ranging from improving road alignments to extending slow vehicle passing bays. Further work is planned, including realigning the highway south of the Conway River Bridge and safety retro fitting work near Kaikoura and at the Conway Bluffs Mr Knaggs said.
Fatal and serious injury crash figures for Canterbury for the last ten years
For more information and to download a regional highlights document see www.kiwirap.org.nz(external link)
For more information about the Safe System approach to road safety see the safe road system.