Road Safety Proposal
Better New Zealand
Establish a new agency - The Traffic Management Service.
This agency will take over the traffic law enforcement tasks currently performed by the New Zealand Police.
It will be part of the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The Traffic Management Service will take over responsibility for:
Traffic law enforcement on public highways
Traffic Accident research
Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit
District Road Policing
Other current Police Traffic Responsibilities
The Traffic Management Service will place in one agency responsibility for road design and building, traffic research, enforcement of traffic regulations, improvement in driver behaviour, investigation and prevention of accidents.
An agency tasked with managing traffic will signal a move from merely enforcing traffic regulations to management of the complex issues involved.
This new agency will be capable of making improvements in driver capability, the major element in road accidents.
Shifting road compliance behaviour management from the New Zealand Police service will allow Police to concentrate on the enforcement of law and order.
Focus on driver improvement not fines.
Currently improvement of drivers relies on punishment mainly fines. This punishes a large number of drivers while the small number who pose a real danger to the public rack up an accumulation of fines. A fine does not improve driver performance or improve compliance with safe road practices.
Better New Zealand believes a traffic management approach which indentifies the issues and problems posed by the small group of drivers who pose a threat of real harm will deliver much better results than a blanket enforcement of laws which align poorly with road safety.
New Zealand taxpayers have spent substantial sums improving the road system. They have personally spent considerable amounts of their money improving the vehicle fleet. It is now time to improve the most important variable the driver. An increase in skills ability and road craft will save lives and lower the accident rate.
The Traffic Management Service will use a system of warnings leading to the identification of drivers who are the primary risk to others on the road system.
Drug and Alcohol road stops
A Better New Zealand government will provide to the Traffic Management Service technology such as computer simulators and virtual reality. This will allow the service to address on the spot the most important question in driver safety.
Can this person safely be allowed to proceed on their way?
Levels of alcohol in the blood or the presence of drugs are poor indicators of who can be safely permitted to continue their journey. It will identify drivers who can drive safely and who should not be unreasonably caught up in a system dependent on law enforcement.
Warnings from Speed cameras.
Traffic Management Service officers and camera operators will issue warnings to drivers that their behaviour poses a risk to road safety. Those driving dangerously will be the subject to immediate action.
Road traffic offence stops.
The system of speed camera warnings road side warnings and records of previous convictions will in time identity of those individuals whose driving behaviour poses a problem to others.
These may be:
Older drivers who are no longer able to drive to the standard required.
Individuals who are generally irresponsible.
Drivers with addiction issues.
Criminals to whom safe driving is a matter of indifference.
New immigrants who have not made a good adaption to New Zealand driving conditions.
Individuals who are always going to be poor drivers unless their skills are improved.
Tourists who have not adapted to New Zealand's road and driving environment
Those identified will be directed and compelled to attend driver education courses provided by the Traffic Management Service. If training and education do not fix the issues involved the Traffic Management Service would have the authority to arrest of drivers found still driving.
Placing traffic management in one agency
Better New Zealand believes that traffic is an area which involves millions of New Zealanders almost every day of their lives.
It believes that the area of traffic environment which must urgently be addressed is the quality of driving in New Zealand. This needs the attention of one agency tasked exclusively with that challenging ambition.
The Traffic Management Service will use management not law enforcement.
Law enforcement moves the problem of driver competence into the Justice system which cannot fix the core problem of driver incompetence.