2018 was a shocking year for road fatalities, with almost 400 deaths. It’s the highest road toll in eight years.

As a result, the Government is looking into taking up the "Vision Zero" approach to road safety.  This would set a long-term objective of eliminating all road deaths.

Ian Taylor, NZI’s national portfolio manager - commercial motor and Richard Jones, NZI’s national manager - motor assessing, recently took part in industry groups to help the MOT and NZTA develop the new-road safety strategy.

Five reference groups were established to discuss key road safety issues and identify priorities and potential interventions. 

In his role, Taylor sees the consequences of serious road crashes almost every day and believes we can’t be complacent when road deaths are on the rise.

“There’s a real sense of urgency around improving safety on our road network. We need to make changes to ensure New Zealanders can get from A-to-B safely.”

Taylor was involved in the Vehicles as a Workplace group, and Jones contributed to the Vehicles Standards and Certification group.

“We know the main issues are around how long-distance drivers are driving, distractions (especially cell phones) use of driver monitoring telematic systems, fatigue, and a general lack of awareness of vehicle and driving risks by employers,” says Taylor.

“We spoke about options for accelerating the uptake of safer vehicles and safety technologies including advanced driver assistance systems. We also discussed how in-service vehicle testing (WOF/COF) might be improved,” Jones added. 

Taylor says being involved with the workshops fit well with NZI and IAG’s purpose of making the world a safer place.

“Insurance is about being there for New Zealanders when they need us most, and at NZI this also means continually looking at how we can improve driver safety and prevent accidents.

“Our Fleet Fit programmes are aimed at improving driver performance and creating a safer and happier workplace and are available for all NZI customers, but we know that change also needs to be made at government level to create safer driving conditions.

 “I’m pleased we’ve been able to contribute to these workshops to help shape government policy.”

Thanks to the industry group’s insight, MOT and NZTA will now make recommendations to Government Ministers. The formal strategy will be released later this year. 

March 2019

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