Road safety review shows plenty of room for improvement

27 January 2022

Road safety review shows plenty of room for improvement

The AA hopes that the review of Government road safety investment and delivery released today will mean more police out on the roads in the near future.

The Ministry of Transport commissioned a review into how well the Government's road policing and safety infrastructure investments have been working and it found a number of areas that could be better.

"The AA has been concerned for some time that there has been less Police on the roads and this review confirms that road policing can often be sacrificed due to all the other duties officers are asked to do,” says AA road safety spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

"When drivers see a lot of Police on patrol it does make them more likely to stick to the rules and be more careful, which ultimately makes the roads safer.

"New Zealand has set ambitious goals to reduce deaths and injuries on the road by 40% this decade and more effective enforcement is going to be needed to achieve that.

“With $400m a year, largely from fuel tax and Road User Charges, being used to fund road policing activities it’s also important to make sure that money is delivering the best results possible.”

The number of drivers being tested for alcohol is a key example of where we need to be doing better.

In 2014 there was 3 million alcohol tests being done a year but that has halved to 1.5 million in recent years. Over that time period deaths involving a driver who was over the limit has risen from 48 to between 80-90 in recent years.

“The AA wants to see alcohol checkpoint numbers going back up and drink driving deaths coming back down and that’s just one example of where we need more from road policing” says Dylan.

“Drugged driving and people not wearing seatbelts are other areas that remain major issues on our roads and if people are more worried that they will be caught, they will be less likely to try getting away with it.

“The AA is heartened that this review has identified areas where Police, Waka Kotahi and the Ministry of Transport can make improvements for better road safety results and it recognises there has already been some high-level changes made within those three organisations to achieve this.

“The key thing from here will be to see those changes deliver genuine improvements out on the roads in the real world. A number of targets around road policing and safety upgrades to roads have been missed in recent years but the AA hopes this review will mark a turning point for the better.”


For more information contact:

Dylan Thomsen
Road safety spokesperson
New Zealand Automobile Association
M. 027 703 9935


The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with more than 1.8 million Members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay more than $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.

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