The Government is working on a new plan to improve road safety over the next ten years. It is called Road to Zero, and is based on the ‘Vision Zero’ approach, which started in Sweden in 1997. Since then it has been used in the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic and parts of the United States and India.
The system acknowledges that even good drivers can make mistakes, so the roads should be designed to allow for human error. “Human error” is a noun phrase, and it describes the simple mistakes that people make every day. If you “allow” for something, it means that you plan for it. For example, if you “allow” for rain, you might put a raincoat in your bag. “Allowing for human error” means planning for mistakes and accidents.
Road safety has recently become a big problem for New Zealand. There has been a large increase in the number of road deaths in the last five years. The government hopes that the Road to Zero program will reduce road deaths by 40 percent over the next decade
Road to Zero has all of the traditional ways of controlling traffic such as having officers watching the roads. However, it also has plans to design roads so that accidents are less likely to happen. The goal is also to make sure that when an accident does happen, there will be less harm.
In the future we may see more rumble strips, roundabouts, median barriers and side barriers on the road. You may also have to drive more slowly in urban areas. Road designers will create safer spaces for bikes and pedestrians.
There will also be higher safety standards imposed on cars being imported into New Zealand.
What is road safety like in your home country? Please tell us!