New Zealand to boost investment in road safety upgrades

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WELLINGTON, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — The New Zealand government will boost investment in road safety upgrades and road policing tools as part of its new Road to Zero strategy and initial action plan launched on Thursday by Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter.

“Most fatal and serious crashes are preventable. Road to Zero follows international best practice and outlines a comprehensive list of actions that will make our roads, vehicles, speed limits and drivers safer over the next decade,” Genter said.

“Road to Zero includes a new commitment to boost road safety investment by 25 percent to around 1 billion New Zealand dollars (659 million U.S. dollars) per year over the next decade,” she said.

“Meeting this target would save 750 lives and prevent 5,600 serious injuries on New Zealand roads over the next decade,” she said.

“Already this government is investing a record 1.4 billion New Zealand dollars (923 million U.S. dollars) over three years in targeted upgrades to over 3,300 km of our most dangerous roads. This plan proposes greater investment in proven safety upgrades like median barriers, roundabouts and safe cycling infrastructure,” Genter said.

“The Road to Zero action plan outlines 15 priority road safety actions for the next three years. This includes an additional action to address concerns around driving training and licensing following consultation,” Genter added.

The government also said one of the priority actions is to introduce oral fluid testing of drivers to crack down on drug driving.

New Zealand has seen rising fatalities for the last few years especially during the festive seasons.

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