Most deaths and serious injuries on NZ’s rural state highways are caused by head-on collisions or drivers running off the road and hitting trees, poles or deep ditches.
The New Zealand government is investing $600m over 10 years, targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over a decade.
The Safe Network Programme (formerly Safe Roads) was established in 2016 to drive this initiative, bringing together the NZ Transport Agency with other parties, including Beca, to deliver a programme of safety improvements across the country.
As locals know their local roads best, the Safe Network Programme works closely with communities and stakeholders to find solutions that best fit with how they use the road day-to-day, every day. The Alliance's philosophy is it’s ‘their road, not ours.’
The safety improvements will make these rural roads more forgiving of human error and reduce the chance of people dying or being seriously injured if they crash. Mistakes will still happen, but if these roads and roadsides can be made safer, more people might survive those crashes.
The Safe Network Programme improvements include roadside safety barriers, wide centrelines, improved road signs and markings, rumble strips, wider road shoulders, intersection upgrades, better signage and safe and appropriate speed limits.