As you’ll see from the above infographic, significant resources and interventions have been applied on our roads to reduce crashes and deaths. The adoption of Vision Zero in 2019 has the potential to be a game-changer. Where previous safety initiatives have focused on reducing crashes; Vision Zero accepts that crashes are going to happen. People will continue to make mistakes on the road and that's unlikely to change, but we can change the severity of the crash so that people don't die or become seriously injured as a result.
System designers are responsible for the design, operation and use of the road transport system and, as such, are responsible for the level of safety within the entire system.
Road users are responsible for following the rules set by its designers. If users fail to comply with these rules due to a lack of knowledge, acceptance or ability, the system designers are required to take the necessary further steps to counteract people being killed or injured.
So, let’s look at how road users can play their part within our existing system.
All roads aren’t equal
Firstly, let’s recognise that not all roads are created or used equally. Despite only making up around 11% of New Zealand’s road network, roughly 50% of road crash deaths and just over a third of serious injuries occur on state highways.