Trying to find the root cause of road accidents is behind
a $100,000 study being led by the Otago Regional Council.
The Regional Road Safety Strategy will cover Otago and
Southland, as part of regional councils' responsibilities for
planning safe transport systems.
Council policy, planning and resource management director
Fraser McRae said it was hoped the strategy would enable
transport funding to be used to fix the actual cause of
''black spots'', rather than the black spot itself, as was
''It could have been because there was no warning sign of an
intersection at the top of a hill or a large billboard
The Otago Regional Council is working with Environment
Southland on the strategy to cover the area south of the
Waitaki River, with results expected in about 12 months.
About 1.5 full-time equivalent staff were working on the
project and had begun with an analysis of accident
statistics, including hospital admissions caused by traffic
accidents, he said.
''A lot of travel accidents which end up in hospital are not
necessarily vehicle-related. They're pedestrian or cycle
As a result, details on those accidents were not included in
traffic accident statistics.
''If we want people to ride bikes and walk more, they should
be able to be safe.''
It was hoped at the end of the work the councils would be
able to provide data showing ''X percentage of accidents were
a result of distraction, or mechanical failure'' or some
other cause, he said.
Under the Land Transport Management Act and Public Transport
Management Act, regional councils are responsible for
planning affordable, safe, and integrated land transport
systems in their region.
The Otago Regional Council has a transport budget of $5.7
million for 2013-14, plus New Zealand Transport Agency
funding for public transport and planning of a similar
The agency encouraged the council to do the safety work, he
However, the council had not budgeted for the project, which
had contributed to a $169,000 blowout in the transport
planning budget in the council's eighth-month financial
The council was seeking grant funding from the transport
agency to pay for the work.