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Communities at risk register

Published: | Category: Statistics & surveys | Audience: Local & regional government

This document provides a ranking of different communities around NZ with regard to selected road safety risks. Approved organisations will use the information contained in the register to support their application for funding through TIO (Transport Investment Online).

Please note that since July 2016, there has been a notable increase in the number of alcohol related crashes recorded in the Crash Analysis System (CAS). This has been driven by crashes where alcohol is suspected but a breath or blood test result is yet to be received, and is due to an increase in the time taken to update the outcome of these results in CAS. It does not reflect a true increase in the number of alcohol related deaths and serious injuries.

Please be aware that no adjustment has been made to the communities at risk register to account for this, and that we recommend caution when using the alcohol related crash information.

For reference, alcohol related crashes include the following:

  • alcohol and/or drugs are suspected but there is not yet a breath/blood result
  • an alcohol test has shown the driver to be over the limit, or where a test was refused
  • a drug test has shown the driver to have taken drugs

For more information or advice, please contact

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: 2011
DocumentsDate released
PDF symbolCommunities at risk register [PDF, 922 KB] November 2018
PDF symbolCommunities at risk register [PDF, 319 KB] May 2017
PDF symbolCommunities at risk register [PDF, 663 KB] October 2015
PDF symbolCommunities at risk register [PDF, 206 KB] April 2014
PDF symbolCommunities at risk register [PDF, 209 KB] October 2013
PDF symbolCommunities at risk register [PDF, 150 KB] August 2011



The communities at risk register has been developed by the NZ Transport Agency to identify communities that are over-represented in terms of road safety risk. The register ranks communities by local authority area based on the Safer Journeys areas of concern (see the Safer Journeys(external link) website for more information).

While the Transport Agency’s primary investment focus for the road safety promotion activity class is on national programmes, targeting the Safer Journeys areas of high concern, it is recognised that some local areas experience a disproportionate risk. By identifying the risk profile for each territorial authority (TA) area, the Transport Agency and TAs can target their resources where they are most needed. 

While the communities at risk register highlights risk, other sources of information should also be considered. Individual TAs will then need to determine, through their road safety action planning, how this risk should be addressed, ie by taking into account the four safe systems pillars: safe roads and roadsides, safe users, safe speeds and safe vehicles.

Data source and methodology

The communities at risk register uses fatal and serious injury crash data from CAS over the latest five year period.

Five year annual average death and serious injury (DSI) is the measure used in collective risk. This value is then considered against road user use relative to the specific Safer Journeys topic, thus the exposure to the outcome DSI and a measure of personal risk.

The calculation of exposure to risk (death or serious injury) is based on 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled (100MVKT) from the Road Assessment and Maintenance Management system (RAMM) and, for active road users (cyclists and pedestrians) millions of hours of travel (MHrs) from the Ministry of Transport’s (MoT) ongoing Household Travel Survey.

VKT data was split by speed zoning (rural, zones posted greater than 70Km/hr and urban, zones posted less than 80Km/hr) to allocate use for intersections and loss of control crashes.

MoT’s cyclist and pedestrian regional estimates are distributed by local population estimates from Statistics NZ to give a local level calculation of hours of travel.

For the subset young drivers, of light vehicles aged 16-24 years, licence counts from the Transport Agency's Drivers Licence Register (DLR) is used , the local and regional proportion of licensed young drivers has been used to allocate VKT use by proportion of all drivers locally.

For the subset older road users, those persons over 74 years of age, the local proportion of populations using current estimates from Statistics NZ census results has been used to allocate VKT as a measure of relative exposure.

For the subset motorcyclists, the MoT estimate of 1% of VKT has been used across all local bodies.

As a topic Trucks is a medium strategic concern but has not been included in the register because there is limited specific VKT data available at a local body level from which to derive a risk profile.