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Safe System solutions

To make New Zealand’s roads and streets safe for everyone, we are guided by the safe system approach.

This acknowledges that people make mistakes and we, as system designers, can help create a forgiving road transport system by applying safe system principles in our decision making.

These resources include interventions and solutions that show the safe system principles in action.

Waka Kotahi is keen to share successes from across the system, so other road safety practitioners can be supported to implement these interventions and solutions to help reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

These resources can also be used to help educate and inform key decision makers, and the public, about their effectiveness.

Intersection speed zones

Intersection speed zones improve the safety at rural intersections along high-speed roads.

They detect when a driver is approaching on a side road and activate an electronic Variable Speed Limit sign to temporarily show a lower speed limit on the main road.

They can reduce fatal and serious crashes by 69%.

Intersection speed zone case study [PDF, 976 KB]

Intersection speed zones long term operational and safety performance report [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Speed sign at an intersection speed zone

Raised safety platforms

Raised safety platforms improve safety at intersections by encouraging safer speeds.

They reduce travel speeds, giving drivers more time to react to changes on the road.

They are designed to help keep impact speeds lower and more likely to be survivable.

Raised safety platforms case study [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Raised safety platform at a set of traffic lights

Rural roundabouts

Roundabouts are a great safety solution for rural intersections.

They simplify decision-making and reduce speeds making it safer for vehicles to enter the flow of traffic.

In this case study rural roundabouts were shown to reduce serious and fatal crashes by 75%.

Rural roundabouts case study [PDF, 2 MB]

Roundabout in a rural location

Median barriers

Flexible median barriers can significantly reduce the occurrence of fatal and serious injuries.

By separating opposing traffic flows, while retaining opportunities for overtaking where passing lanes are provided, high severity crashes are less likely to occur because people are physically separated from what may otherwise be a head-on collision.

Median barriers case study [PDF, 4.2 MB]

Vehicles travelling on a road with a median barrier in the middle

Tactical urbanism

Tactical urbanism can be used to make quick progress by testing and piloting projects to help demonstrate their value to the community.

Tactical urbanism case study [PDF, 351 KB]

A street with coloured paint to highlight different areas of the road

Contact us

If you have any feedback, or suggestions for future case studies, email us at roadtozero@nzta.govt.nz