Hamilton has made rapid progress towards ratifying Vision Zero as City policy.
Here are highlights from the timeline:
- May 8th - Cycle Action Waikato (CAW) Submission to Draft-Waikato-Regional-Road-Safety-Strategy-2017-21 asking to bring NZ Safe System in line with Vision Zero, a plan for NO fatalities or serious injuries in road traffic. Outcome: ’By 2040 there will be no more than 39 deaths per annum in the region’ (p21)
- May 9th – CAW ask elected city councillors for Access Hamilton to use the word ‘eliminate’ (not reduce) ‘fatalities and severe injuries’ in line with HCC health and safety policy of Getting all people home healthy and safe. Response: 'Road safety is top-down, HCC can ask if it is allowed to measure/set a target in different way that regional/ Government does'.
- June 5th – Councillor Mark Bunting has drinks with team from CAW. Here Cr Bunting sits next to one of our traffic engineers, who explained the 'Zero' part of ‘Vision Zero’
- June 20th – Councillors asked to approve Draft Access Hamilton plan which included a target to kill or seriously injure up to 34 people per year for next 10 years. Here Cr Bunting asked for separation of deaths from serious injury and approve a target of zero road deaths. Outcome: Elected Councillors approve this 6 for 5 against.
- Oct 3rd – Mayor Andrew King is interviewed on AM show and repeats Hamilton target for road deaths is Zero.
- Oct 24th – Caroline Perry from Brake presentation to city councillors adding more detail to what Vision Zero is and thanked them for setting a road death target of Zero.
- Nov 8th – TRAFINZ conference in Nelson: 4 Councillors & 4 council staff from Hamilton attend. Here another layer of knowledge on Vision Zero is added.
- Dec – Draft Hamilton Long Term Plan includes target of zero deaths & prioritises safety above other benefits in society.
See here for the Hamilton Urban Blog post on the AA's advocacy for more 30kmh speed limits.
On the Blog you can select Categories ‘Safety’ for about a dozen posts on safety.
Lastly, just a thought: Safety is about LEADERSHIP, it is top down. Traffic engineers calculate risk then ask elected officials to approve. Elected officials are reasonable for acceptable level of deaths. This is not shared responsibility & never will be.
Peter has worked in Hamilton for many years advocating for better urban design, town planning and sustainable healthy transport.