New road safety strategy resonates with H&S thinking
The Ministry of Transport's
draft road safety strategy
released earlier this month is based on a set of seven principles which will resonate with progressive H&S practitioners everywhere. They are:
We plan for people's mistakes
We design for human vulnerability
We strengthen all parts of the [road transport] system
We have a shared responsibility for improving [road] safety
Our actions are grounded in evidence and evaluated
Our [road] safety actions support health, wellbeing and liveable places
We make safety a critical decision-making priority
The strategy is well worth a read, particularly Focus Area 3 on work-related road safety, where it is pleasing to see Clare Tedestedt George's ground-breaking research acknowledged.
Driving for work purposes is a critical risk for most organisations but one which is still overlooked in many organisations' H&S risk frameworks. If you have a view on how work-related driving risk could be minimised then please read the strategy's ideas and make a submission on them.
Submissions close 14 August.
It's mostly good but doesn't do much to address the core issues of driver competence and attitude.
I think the medium term future will quite soon include pools of shared autonomous vehicles in cities, which will almost eliminate risks. It's therefore a little ironic that we have taken until the dawn of that era to plan for human error.
Country and provincial driving will be by humans for a very long time, and that's where high speed crashes tend to occur. And I agree with Darren Cottingham above: New Zealand driving attitude is dominated by belligerence, aggression, competitiveness and a sense of entitlement. But we finished carving a niche out of the bush a long time ago. Those qualities are OK in sport but driving must become a heck of a lot more considerate, courteous and cooperative. Why? Because no one actually loses. We all get to where we are going, instead of engaging in a primitive war about being first.
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