Progress on a few fronts!
Notes from meeting with NZTA on 11 November 2008
Attended by: Jim Furneaux (Manager Driver Licensing Standards, NZTA), Gerry Dance (Acting Principal Policy Advisor, Walking & Cycling, NZTA), Jason Morgan (Senior Policy Advisor, Networks, NZTA)
Patrick Morgan (Networking Project Manager, CAN), Robert Ibell (Executive member, CAN), John Willmer (Cycling Development Manager, BikeNZ)
Some issues raised by CAN at a meeting with Transport Minister Hon Annette King and Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven on 10 September were discussed. An initial response from MoT and NZTA had already been given in a briefing paper dated 31 October 2008 (see http://can.org.nz/node/2797)
The main points from this meeting were:
1. Road Code and driver instruction & licensing
- The Road Code is being revised for early 2009, providing an opportunity to make cyclists more 'visible' in the Code. CAN and BikeNZ have been approached for input.
- The theory questions for driver licensing are also being revised and will reflect the greater presence of vulnerable road users in the Road Code. NZTA is currently working on a business case to have the theory test computerised. As well as allowing the test questions to be readily updates, this will make it possible to ensure that each test includes at least one question from a selection relating to vulnerable road users.
- The content of the driver license practical test is currently determined by legislation, but this is about to change. Once the test can be more readily altered it will be amended to include aspects that test drivers' awareness of how to behave around 'vulnerable road users'.
- NZTA will be working with the transport Industry Training Organisation (Tranzqual, http://www.tranzqual.org.nz/) to build awareness of vulnerable road users into training for professional drivers.
- NZTA is keen to see more professional certification and more professional development for driver instructors.
2. Share the Road
- NZTA's current approach is to make available a resource for local or regional use (see http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/road-user-safety/walking-and-cycling/sh...), fundable through their Community Focused Land Transport Activities programme (see http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/funding/nltp/ltp.html). A range of share the road type campaigns have happened at a local level with funding assistance from NZTA. However, there are still many parts of the country where no such campaigns have taken place, hence CAN's call for a nationwide campaign.
- Priorities for funding for road safety advertising are set by the Ministry of Transport. While these remain focused on speed, drink driving, intersections, fatigue and seatbelts it is unlikely that a national Share the Road campaign can be fully funded from this source. NZTA staff are looking at alternative ways to fund such a campaign.
3. Legal issues
- CAN proposed to Ministers on 10 September (see that legislation be changed to put the assumption of liability in a crash involving a cyclist and a motor vehicle driver onto the motorist (as happens in some countries overseas). CAN also suggested changing rules to give cyclists on off-road cycle paths priority over vehicles entering or exiting side roads that cross the paths.
- These issues were raised in a review of Legal Issues for Vulnerable Road Users undertaken by the Land Transport Safety Authority some years ago but have not yet been included in any current or proposed changes to legislation or rules. Some of the recommendations were accepted by the politicians (and are making their way into rule changes) and others are not.