The Safe Network Programme is a collaborative initiative that aims to save up to 160 deaths and serious injuries every year across New Zealand’s highest risk state highways and local roads.
The $1.3–1.5 billion investment over three years, signals Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s commitment to making our roads safe, working in partnership with local government and the wider safety sector to find the right safety solutions for each region.
At least seven people die and around 54 are reported seriously injured every week on New Zealand’s roads. Each death and serious injury has a devastating and wide-reaching impact on our communities. It also has a social cost to New Zealand of $84 million per week, or nearly $4.7 billion a year.
Unique to the programme is a new funding model to ensure rapid delivery of safety projects on the ground. Waka Kotahi will subsidise local road safety improvements at a higher rate than currently through a targeted enhanced Financial Assistance Rate (TEFAR).
To achieve this, Waka Kotahi has simplified decision-making and approval processes around standard safety treatments. This will streamline delivery for Waka Kotahi and its partners to rapidly install safety improvements that protect and benefit everyone on our roads.
This programme uses the Safe System approach, focusing on safe roads and roadsides, safe and appropriate speeds and safe level crossings. In a Safe System, crashes are inevitable but deaths and serious injuries are not.
Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury have been identified as the priority regions for the first phase of the three-year programme. These regions were prioritised as together they have the highest potential savings of deaths and serious injuries.
The programme will be complemented by continued investment in a wide range of programmes delivered across the safety spectrum including road safety maintenance, advertising and education, road policing, active modes and public transport, all of which support improved safety outcomes.