Safer Journeys (Road Safety Strategy to 2020) Submission
Living Streets Aotearoa (PN) believes that the issues of education and walking and cycling need to be raised to the highest priority group.
Both activities have marked health benefits and contribute to more vibrant, sociable, economically viable and safer communities. Furthermore, both are effectively carbon neutral and help reduce our balance of payments deficit. The comparatively higher risk of injury for cyclists is offset by the health benefits cycling offers. Walkers and cyclists are also more productive workers, having already energised themselves on their ways to work.
Getting more people to walk and cycle (possibly in combination with using public transport which is the safest of all modes of travel) requires continued education and reinforcement, as well as numerous improvements to infrastructure and rules to make these modes of travel more appealing to more people.
The biggest factor that would improve safety of these groups, and decrease overall injury rates most, would be to have fewer people driving and those who are driving doing so at lower speeds. These two factors, along with severance (no safe way to get from A to B), are the biggest deterrents we hear about as why more people don’t walk and ride.