Waitakere WaeWae Walking submission on Safer Journeys

Submission from the WaitakereWaeWae Walking
on the Safer Journeys Discussion Document, August 2009

Submitted 2 October 2009

WWW.LSA shares Living Streets Aotearoa’s vision of

More people choosing to walk more often.

Living Streets Waitakere is working to make all areas of Waitakere City more walking-friendly and to create a place which is, and is perceived to be, a safe pedestrian environment which encourages walking for transport, health and leisure.

We are  supported by Living Streets Aotearoa and  advocate for better and safer walking infrastructure and policies and for the needs of those using the pedestrian facilities of the city.

Living Streets Waitakere supports the submission on Safer Journeys made by Living Streets Aotearoa.

We would welcome the opportunity to engage in any further discussion of the road safety strategy to 2020. Our contact details  appear at the end of this document.

Introduction

We support the vision of a safe road system for all road users. However we would like to see this vision underpinned by a road user hierarchy which places pedestrians and the mobility impaired at the top. This would ensure that all road safety initiatives give maximum benefit to vulnerable road users.

Priorities

Safer Speeds

We believe that safer speeds are an area of utmost  concern. We support initiatives which reduce permitted and average speedsand believe that Road controlling authorities should have more scope to reduce speed limits to 40km/h on arterial roads where the business / community mix would attract pedestrians, and to 30km/h in town centres.

Safer Walking and Cycling

We strongly believe that there is absolutely no reason why Safer Walking & Cycling  should be included in the medium concern category. Considering that in urban areas 30% of all road deaths are of pedestrians and cyclists  the saftey of these vulnerable road users must be of the highest priority

We support a revision of the road code and driver testing  so that drivers are more aware of pedestrians’ and cyclists’ safety needs and rights. This must include a strong emphasis on rules relating to marked pedestrian crossings, signalised crossings, turning traffic and vehicles crossing footpaths to enter private driveways.

We support lower speed limits around schools, as outlined above, and greater use of lower speed limits in town centres, mixed use arterial roads, and on high risk rural roads. The safety of pedestrians who must use rural roads without footpath provision to access schools and other community facilities should be an important consideration when reviewing rural road speeds.

Safer Roads and Roadsides

We strongly agree that safer roads and roadsides are an area of high concern.

We support a targeted programme of treatments for high risk urban intersections. These treatments must prioritise the safety of pedestrians, in particular, the vision and mobility impaired, and cyclists. In particular roundabout treatments must accommodate safe crossing points for the vision and mobility impaired,

Addressing Driver Distraction

In an  increasingly gadget orientated world  we strongly advocate that driver distraction should be an area of high concern. Following on from the soon to be introduced ban on handheld mobile phone use  the use of hands-free phones should also be banned.

 More education is needed to raise awareness of other in car distractions. Fatigue is also a factor which needs to be addressed.

We advocate for a  greater emphasis on the drivers responsibilities  in using a motor vehicle and recommend a social marketing campaign to promote a culture change to consider   others by all road users.

Other initiatives

1. Increase the adoption of lower speed limits in urban areas;

2. Change the give-way rules for turning traffic and pedestrians;

3. Develop and support new approaches to safety on urban mixed-use arterials;

4. Improve techniques to integrate safety into land-use planning;

5. Support the roll-out of strongly-enforced variable speed limits around schools and address the issue of rural bus school bus safety;

6. Raise the driving age to 17;

7. Introduce compulsory third-party insurance;

8. Add specific walking and cycling questions to driver licensing testing so drivers are more aware of pedestrians' and cyclists' safety needs;

9. Reduce the legal adult blood alcohol limit to 50 mg per 100 ml (BAC 0.05);

10. Support a zero BAC for repeat offenders and move towards mandatory alcohol interlocks for drink-drive offenders

Conclusion

Our top priorities are:

  • Safer Speeds
  • Safer Roads and Roadsides
  • Safer Walking and cycling
  • Addressing Distraction

Contact

Emma Frost
www
convenor
c/o Ranui Action Project
Manager Projects & Partnerships
476 Swanson Rd
PO Box 70065
Ranui
WAITAKERE CITY

Ph/fax: (09) 832-6048
DDI: (09) 833-4915

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