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HDPA: Government can't keep putting politics ahead of road safety

Author
Heather du Plessisa-Allan,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 July 2019, 4:41PM
Why won't Labour build the 12 roads of national significance, asks Heather. (Photo / File)

You can’t get away from building more roads

The Government’s got a super ambitious plan of cutting road deaths to zero, and it’s got some great ideas in its plan, but it’s missing one thing: building roads.

And as long as this government refuses to budge on it’s weird refusal to build more roads, it will never achieve its aim of zero road deaths.

So first, let’s deal with the good stuff in the new ‘road to zero’ plan to improve road safety. The first good thing is that it finally accepts that you can’t blame drivers for every crash and every fatality.

Drivers make mistakes, so give up on hoping every kiwi motorists will learn to drive like Greg Murphy, and instead accept that they won’t.

Second, try to reduce the number of road deaths, not road crashes. There’s a big difference. Dinging your car, that’s okay, but fatalities aren’t.

For example, instead of building a red light traffic intersection, if you can, build a roundabout. Roundabouts have, comparably, a lot more crashes but the crashes are minor - they’re dings. Red light intersections have fewer crashes, but when there are crashes, they are major

So that’s the good stuff. The bad stuff?

This Government’s ideological refusal to build the 12 roads that National had planned.

Why won’t they build them? Because National wanted to build them and National liked roads so roads must be bad.

As I said, without those twelve roads, we will not get our road toll to zero. Two of those roads are, according to the AA, some of the most dangerous roads in this country.

Otaki to north of Levin: three fatal crashes and 16 serious crashes over four year.

Katikati to Tauranga: 12 fatal crashes and 22 serious crashes over four years.

Here’s a stat about how safe these roads can be. Of the roads of national significance already built, the AA reckons not one person has died in a crash on them. Unless we improve those roads people will keep dying on them

So as I say, great ideas, but we’ll always have a road toll as long as politics influences decisions.

ON AIR: The Devlin Radio Show

12PM - 3PM