Newsletter of The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc.
Roadmarking News www.nzrf.co.nz Edition 130 April 2018
Safety Boost programme underway
to Downer NZ Ltd and Southland let to Roadmarkers Ltd.
Work is underway on the $22.5 million programme of work to add a range of low-cost safety improvements to make high-risk sections of 30 regional state highways safer.
Civil Contractors and Roadmarkers co-operation
The roads are in Northland, Taranaki, ManawatuWanganui, Canterbury, Otago and Southland are being upgraded with rumble strips and better signs
Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) and the New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation (NZRF) have agreed to establish a closer working relationship through reciprocal representation on technical committees. CCNZ will appoint their Technical Manager (Stacy Goldsworthy - below) as an observer (non voting) to the NZRF Executive.
Downer NZ installing rumble strips on SH 8 south of Omarama This work is in addition to the $600m being spent targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over a decade under the Safe Roads programme.
Four parcels of ATP work have been awarded with Northland let to Coastline Markers, Taranaki/Manawatu/Wanganui let to Combined Road & Traffic Services Ltd , Canterbury/Otago let
NZRF will make appointments for observers (non voting) to relevant CCNZ Technical committees surfacings (Alister Harlow, NZRF Executive Director) and Temporary Traffic Management (Bruce Goodall, General Manager, Coastline Markers)
This arrangement will allow the organisations to work more closely on technical matters and for an exchange of information about developments and technical projects impacting on surfacings and delineation.
Published by: The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc. P O Box 13 605 Onehunga Auckland 1643 New Zealand Executive Director: Alister Harlow Phone: +64 9 625 7470 Email: email@example.com Roadmarking News in published by The NZ Roadmarkers Federation Inc. Opinions expressed in Roadmarking News do not necessarily reflect the views of the NZRF
Draft Government Policy Statement on Transport 2018 The Government is currently developing the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2018 with engagement on the draft GPS from March 2018. GPS 2018 will signal investment changes The draft GPS will continue to include strategic priorities, objectives, themes, results, reporting, funding levels and activity class information. From a strategic priority perspective, the GPS proposes investment to achieve a land transport system that:
is a safe system, free of death and serious injury – New Zealand roads, speeds, vehicles and user behaviours are a long way from what is required to achieve our aim of a land transport system that is free of death and serious injury. There needs to be increased efforts across the system to significantly reduce death and serious injury on our roads improves access to move towards more liveable cities and thriving regions – the GPS focuses on how transport can enhance the well being of people and the environment and significantly shift to providing more investment in public transport, walking and cycling ensures the land transport system enables better environmental outcomes – we are committed to reducing carbon emissions from transport by substantially increasing the use of lower emission modes, such as walking and cycling, providing frequent and affordable public transport, and supporting rail and sea freight. Lower emission transport options, like electric vehicles and bio-fuels, encourage efficient network and speed management is also key to this priority area delivers the best possible value for money value for money in transport will deliver the right infrastructure and services to the right level at the best cost. This consideration needs to take into account the full range of benefits and costs over the whole of the life of the investments.
The draft GPS will also include themes. The themes include broad issues that support the effective delivery of the strategic priorities and
objectives. The themes influence how the results should be delivered to ensure the best transport solutions for New Zealand are achieved. The following themes are likely to be included in the draft GPS:
a mode neutral approach to transport planning and investment decisions incorporating technology and innovation into the design and delivery of land transport investment integrating land use and transport planning and delivery.
Timeline for GPS 2018 The timeline to release GPS 2018 is as follows: • March 2018 - draft GPS 2018 released for engagement for around a month April/May 2018 - following engagement, feedback will be considered and revisions made May 2018 - in line with the Land Transport Management Act 2003, consultation with the New Zealand Transport Agency Board will occur June 2018 – final GPS 2018 will be released.
Milestone for Dunedin cycle lane project A key milestone has been reached on the $8 million State Highway 1, one-way system separated cycle lane project through central Dunedin, with work now starting on installing concrete traffic islands. These are designed to keep cycle lane users and highway traffic safely apart. Dunedin’s has some of the worst pedestrian and cyclist crash figures in the country with two cycling fatalities on the one-way system Dunedin since 2011. Contributing to this is the one-way system through central and north Dunedin which creates barriers to providing safe and convenient links especially for pedestrians and cyclists. This NZ Transport Agency project, due to be finished later this year, will help address this situation. Transport Agency Projects Team Manager Simon Underwood says initially the concrete islands will go in on the section of cycle lane on Cumberland Street between Howe and Albany Streets and then on Great King Street between Albany and Howe Streets. New markings and painting the cycle lanes will happen after this work is completed.
Mr Underwood urges cyclists and all other road users to take extra care when using the one-way system between Howe and Albany Streets while new road markings are applied and old ones removed from the highway. Apart from Cumberland Street between Howe and Albany Streets, the new cycle lanes move from the left to the right hand side of the highway. This is to reduce cyclists’ interactions with buses at bus stops, and to help eliminate the left hand blind spot large for trucks that makes it difficult for their drivers to see cyclists. “There are also new layouts at intersections. Busy intersections with higher volumes of traffic turning across the cycle lane, will see the signals keep cyclists and turning traffic separated. Intersections with a lot less vehicle movements, turning traffic and cyclists share the same traffic lane. New traffic signals and upgrades to the existing signals also provide greater protection for those crossing the highway.”
introduced on the one-way system, priority has been given to matching existing business short stay car parks, and parking near Dunedin Hospital, Otago Museum and Otago University. The new cycle lanes provide better linkages to popular destinations including the Otago University and Otago Polytechnic campuses, Dunedin Hospital and the CBD, and more convenient connections to the wider Dunedin urban cycle network the City Council is developing, he said. The Transport Agency, Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council are implementing a range of transport projects to ensure both locals and visitors have safe and effective transport options and connections within the central city. The separated cycle lanes are a key part of this coordinated work programme to create a world class transport system for Dunedin. http://connectingdunedin.nz/
EV Charging Station Signage The roll out of easy to spot signs for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations this summer is helping EV drivers in New Zealand hit the open road with confidence. The NZ Transport Agency’s Director Safety and Environment, Harry Wilson says with around 6,500 EVs now registered in New Zealand, signposting all DC (rapid) charging stations ensures the increasing number of EV drivers are able to easily find charging stations, and increases general awareness of EVs on our roads.
On St David Street, the footpath has been widened allowing people to cycle directly from Otago University to SH1 heading north on Great King Street. Mr Underwood said meeting the parking needs of businesses and maintaining access to public facilities has been a big focus of the cycle lane design. Of the 130 parking bays being re-
“Supporting the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand and encouraging people to make the switch to electric is crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our transport sector.
“Prominent signage along our state highways shows everyday Kiwis and visitors to New Zealand that driving, and charging, an EV is as easy and convenient as any conventional vehicle. It’s also cheaper and better for the environment.” Driving an EV in New Zealand produces 80 percent fewer carbon emissions than a petrol or diesel vehicle, and makes the most of New Zealand’s abundant renewable electricity. “The Transport Agency has taken a leadership role in enabling and supporting public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. “As at the end of January, there were 91 DC charging stations on our state highways, and we’re on track for nationwide coverage of fast/rapid DC charging stations every 75kms across New Zealand’s state highways, supplemented by a network of AC charging stations. There is also an ever increasing number of public charging stations popping up around New Zealand – at shopping malls, airports, supermarkets and even some petrol stations,” Mr Wilson says.
Associate minister helps with spotty cycleway installation Associate Minister of Transport Julie-Anne Genter has helped install the new contra-flow cycleway on Federal Street, as part of the walking and cycling improvements for the area.
“I think trialing walking and cycling improvements is a great way to test new street designs with the community," she says. “It’s something I’d love to see more of in all our cities." Auckland Transport’s Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager, Kathryn King, says even though the installation is not finished yet, the benefits are already being realised. “Drivers are slowing down around intersections and more people are stopping to look at the changes. It’s made this part of the city really colourful and already it’s much more pedestrianfriendly.” The project, once complete, will go from Victoria Street to Fanshawe Street. The installation is a trial and we will be asking for feedback on the changes after it is complete, to get users’ views on their experiences. The project includes: A protected south-bound (up Federal Street) 'contra-flow' cycle lane, allowing people cycling to travel in the opposite direction to traffic on Federal Street. Improved pedestrian facilities in the lower section of Federal Street through upgraded footpath surfacing, road marking and signage. An easy north/south route through central Auckland for walkers and cyclists, providing an alternative to Hobson Street and Albert Street. A link in the City Centre Cycle Network to the Nelson Street Cycleway, via the future Victoria Street Cycleway. Given Federal Street's relatively low traffic speeds and volume, people cycling north-bound can do so in the general traffic lane, guided by 'sharrows' – road markings designed to guide bike riders and alert motorists to their presence.
$53m safety and efficiency boost for SH16
The associate minister painted a section of the new cycleway and found out more about the project, which includes polka dots at intersections to slow vehicles.
A stretch of Auckland’s State Highway 16, between Brigham Creek and Waimauku is set to get a $53million upgrade that will include a new roundabout, extra lanes, safety barriers to prevent head-on crashes and more space for pedestrians and cyclists. The NZ Transport Agency Board has approved funding for the design and construction of the
project, which is part of the government’s $600 million Safe Roads programme. Between 2006 and 2015, there were four people killed and 30 seriously injured on this stretch of road. Many deaths and injuries were caused by head-on crashes or drivers running off the road into trees, poles or deep ditches. The Transport Agency’s System Design Manager Brett Gliddon says the safety improvements will help ensure that simple mistakes won’t cost lives or leave people seriously injured in the future. The upgrade will introduce short to medium term solutions to improve safety and efficiency ahead of other longer term infrastructure projects to address expected urban growth in northwest Auckland. It will also coordinate with projects in the Kumeu, Huapai and Waimauku urban centres along SH16 to ensure consistency in standards and treatment. “Improvements will include extra lanes between Brigham Creek and Taupaki roundabout to help with travel times, a flush median to give drivers more room and a safe place to turn, and a roundabout at the SH16/Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection to help traffic flow,” says Mr Gliddon.
To make the road more forgiving if people make mistakes, we’ll make these improvements: Install flexible road safety barriers to catch vehicles before they hit something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles. Add extra lanes between Brigham Creek and Taupaki roundabout (four lanes, two in each direction) to help maintain travel times in the short-term, ahead of a longer term Supporting Growth project looking at realigning the State Highway Put in a flush median, which is a painted area in the middle of the road, to give drivers more room and a safe place to wait before turning without interrupting traffic flow. Build a roundabout at the SH16/Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection to help traffic flow and make it safer to turn. Between Huapai and Waimauku, we will consider widening bridges that are too narrow and providing safe turnaround facilities at Foster, Station and Factory Roads. Review speed limits along the route to determine what is safe and appropriate. Create a two-metre wide road shoulder so there’s more space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Time to get our act together on cellphones and road safety Opinion: Mike "MOD" O'Donnell is a writer and professional director, he also chaired the NZ Motorcycle Safety Summit. It was mid-morning when I rode the KTM 1190 into Wellington. A great time for motorcycling because the motorway is pretty much empty of tin tops, so you can enjoy the curving descent down the Ngauranga Gorge.
Flexible road safety barriers will be put along sections of the route. The barriers help reduce road deaths by 70-80 per cent. Mr Gliddon says the funding approval meant the team could finalise the design and start construction in late 2018. The project will be carried out in stages over three years. The section between Huapai and Waimauku will be started first and is expected to take just over 12 months. The Brigham Creek to Kumeu section is planned to start in February 2019 and finish in February 2021.
Then the harbour vista of the coolest little capital in the world opens as SH1 merges with SH2. Up ahead was a solo rider on a Suzuki GN250 – pretty much the go-to motorcycle for new bikers. Cheap, dependable and with a low seat height; the GN has been unchanged for years and has taught thousands of bikers the basics of throttle, brake and clutch. But this GN wasn't looking too flash. Already in the left lane, it was slowing down and drifting a little. Out of fuel perhaps.? No backfiring so perhaps not fuel at all, but an electrical problem?
Older Suzuki electrics can be a bit dodgy, so that was probably it. Her helmet was tipped forward as well. Low blood pressure I thought, or perhaps a stroke, heaven forbid!
cellphone use while driving led to 1.6 million crashes each year â€“ and over 300,000 injuries result from people, texting while driving. Furthermore, they reckon more than one out of every four car accidents in the USA result from texting while driving. Across the ditch in Australia its entered the top five causes of road fatalities. Here in Godzone the 2017 road toll was its highest for eight years, with 380 people dying. While the percentage of these accidents caused by cellphone is unknown, it's unlikely to be a trivial number.
I put on my hazard lights as the Suzuki slowed further and she pulled off the side of the motorway into a little layby where a sneaky cop sometimes use to set up a radar-trap. My KTM is a throaty beast and I didn't want to surprise her as I pulled alongside to see if I could render assistance or call an ambulance, so I cut the motor and coasted in beside her with my hazards on as she came to a stop beside the Armco barrier. The slump now quite pronounced as she cut the engine. Turns out it wasn't petrol or electrics that was the root cause. It was an iPhone6 Plus. She was texting with one hand. Texting with one hand on a motorcycle while she was riding. As someone passionate about motorcycle safety and biker rights, it did my head in to see something so dumb. What a mug. I shared these thoughts mixed in with some colourful phraseology. Despite the good efforts of NZTA and their engaging "Hello" campaign with voice effects by Lionel Ritchie, I think its fair to say that the law change that made using a cellphone while driving has not been a total winner in terms of changing behaviour here in godzone. In fact it's going backwards. Recently an industry observer perched outside Wellington Central Police station and monitored all the passing cars. He found that in one hour, 30 to 40 people drove by the station while on their phones. A pretty blatant datapoint of non compliance. In the United States the National Safety Council found that
It's not just private drivers, it's the professionals. My purely anecdotal observations is that tradespeople are often offenders, as are courier drivers. This puts the business under commercial pressure to set the and enforce the right business rules. But it also puts them at legal risk under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 if something goes wrong. Something like the worker hurting themselves or others. So rather than just the driver getting an $80 fine and 20 demerit points, the directors and officers of the business could face fines of up to $600,000 and the business itself a fine up to $3 million. Plus there is criminal (rather than just civil) liability. I'm betting dollars to doughnuts that many of these firms aren't aware of this. And it might be an interesting button to push in the war to deliver safer roads. That, along with the threat to confiscate cellphones. As someone with two teenage daughters, I can tell you nothing scares them more than the prospect of losing their phone. In the medium-term, technology will provide a solution. Every car will have a wireless docking port (and likely wireless charger) that seamlessly provides users with irresistible functionality to meet their need to communicate while driving, together with safeguards to make texting unfeasible. But until then, I reckon its time to take a harder line and the business button could be the one to push. Meanwhile, it you're that GN250 rider, please get your act together.
AA Research Foundation - Study of the causes of road accidents
As can be seen in the graphs, the research found significant differences between fatal and serious injury crashes.
When people think of serious crashes they tend to think of things like drunk drivers, extreme speeds and people acting recklessly. But a new study from the AA Research Foundation challenges these perceptions and found many crashes involve everyday people not doing anything extreme.
For fatal injury crashes there's an even split between reckless behaviour and system failures.
The first-of-its-kind study found that in around three quarters of crashes where vehicle occupants were seriously injured the drivers were generally following the rules of the road, but they made a mistake or a poor decision, or something unexpected happened. To put it another way, they were going about their ordinary business when something went wrong and they were seriously injured.
The focus in road safety is generally on the more than 300 fatal crashes that happen each year, but there are about 10 people seriously injured from road crashes for each death and the social cost to the country is estimated at $786,000 per reported serious injury. This was one of the reasons the AA Research Foundation wanted to improve our understanding of serious crashes and, in particular what proportion of crashes resulted from extreme behaviours and what proportion were the result of what the research called 'system failures'. Dr Hamish Mackie of Mackie Research explains: "We took the detailed reports from 300 passenger vehicle crashes that resulted in either a fatality or a serious injury, and we analysed them in terms of the 'safe system' that underpins the Government's current road safety strategy. We looked at whether there had been driver error, or whether speed was an issue. Was the vehicle safe? Was the road unsafe for some reason? And we set some criteria that triggered a 'reckless behaviour' categorisation, like driving drunk or without a licence, driving at more than 20km/h over the speed limit, or not wearing a seatbelt."
But when it comes to serious injury crashes, there are many more crashes where a system failure was identified. This suggests that we can significantly reduce the serious injuries on our roads by not just trying to stop extreme behaviour, but also looking to improve the whole 'safe system'. The concept behind the safe system is that the harm from crashes comes from the combination of four different 'pillars': the road users, the speeds they are travelling, the vehicles they are in and the roads they are on. Another key finding of the research was that the majority of crashes, both fatal and serious, involved failings across three or four pillars of the safe system. An error by the road user was involved in over 90 of both fatal and serious injury crashes (we are, after all, human and we all make mistakes) but in most cases people were also in vehicles that were less than ideal in terms of safety, and on roads that could be made more protecting or with speed limits that may not match the environment. One particularly interesting set of findings from the research relates to the safe vehicle pillar. In almost 80 of fatal and serious crashes in the research, the safe vehicle pillar was triggered. The research clearly showed that if two cars collide, occupants in younger cars and ones with more safety features suffered less harm than those in older cars. Cars older than 14 years were less protective than those that were under 14 years in age. These cars don't tend to have ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and while they may have a driver airbag, they may not have passenger and side
curtain airbags. This is a particular challenge in New Zealand where the average age of vehicles in our fleet is more than 14 years old (compared to Australia's 10 and Japan's eight). The research also showed when looking at the different sorts of passenger vehicles on the road that SUVs, vans, 4WDs and utes had a higher risk of rolling over in crashes. So what can we take out of the research? From the AA's perspective, it highlights that for us to improve road safety we need to be doing more than just targeting the behaviour of road users and extreme actions.
NZ Transport Agency Director of Safety and Environment Harry Wilson led the panel of judges and said they were looking for the concept that would make the biggest difference; was easy to do; and was technically feasible. Licence Me tackled the problem of young drivers on restricted licences. In their pitch to judges, Licence Me said restricted drivers represent 4.6% of the driving population but were involved in 14% of fatal and serious injury crashes.
If a crash happens on a road with barriers on it there is less chance that it will result in serious injuries or deaths. Getting more people into more modern vehicles with side-curtain airbags and electronic stability control will also mean less severe consequences if they are involved in a crash. And as individuals we can all do things to minimise our risks of being seriously hurt on the roads like not driving when we're tired, avoiding distractions behind the wheel, making sure everyone wears a seatbelt and looking for a four or five-star safety rated car the next time we are looking to buy. By doing so we'll be lowering the risks of a serious injury for ourselves and our loved ones because at one point or another, we all make mistakes.
Licence Me estimated their concept could save 55 young lives a year by increasing the time they spent behind the wheel with feedback from experienced drivers so they learnt good habits early. The team proposed developing an app to track driver progress that focussed on controlling speed, braking, accelerating and cornering. The incentive for young drivers would be to learn good driving skills and reduce their time on a restricted licence from 18 to 12 months.
Dr Hamish Mackie and AA Research Foundation Manager Simon Douglas spoke at the 2017 Australasian Roadmarking conference. You can access their presentations here
The Licence Me team had 10 members – 7 from a Hamilton firm who came to the Hackathon to “have some fun on a team-building exercise”, said group leader Jourdan Templeton, the Chief Technical Officer of Aware Group, a company that uses data and machine learning to predict the rate of student drop-outs from university courses.
NZTA Hackathon, “Save One More Life"
They met a road safety engineer from Christchurch and two Auckland students at the Hackathon to create their winning team.
A copy of the research report is available here.
A concept to improve the driving skills of 15 to 19 year olds has won the NZ Transport Agency’s first ever Hackathon. The team proposed creating an app to incentivise safe driving behaviour in teenagers on restricted licences. The team called “Licence Me” worked through the weekend, competing with 11 other groups in Auckland to develop and pitch their ideas for making New Zealand roads safer.
“We have the capability to build the app we proposed,” said Mr Templeton. Mr Wilson said the theme of the Hackathon, “Save One More Life,” was especially appropriate on a day when two teenagers died in a road crash at Amberley. “That news really reinforced what we are doing here and why we’re doing it,” he said.
“I’ve been moved by the passion, the energy, the creativity and the ideas of the teams over the weekend. I thank all 120 participants for giving up their weekend to come here and represent all of New Zealand in a bid to find new hi-tech ways of making our roads safer for everyone,” Mr Wilson said. The Transport Agency will work with the Licence Me team to develop their concept into a marketable proposition. Mr Wilson said the Transport Agency would talk to other teams about developing their concepts. Second place went to the “Safe Sense” team for a concept that involved placing laser sensors and cameras at corners to warn drivers of vehicles crossing the centreline. Safe Sense told the judges that 50% of crashes occur on corners.
The ETSC claims that solutions exist and that measures that can reduce speeding are critical to preventing the deaths of more children. As a result the ETSC is calling for the EU to require vehicle safety technologies such as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) and Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) that can detect pedestrians and cyclists to be fitted as standard on all new cars. Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said, “Smart, cost-effective and proven vehicle safety technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assistance could be as important for saving kids lives as the seatbelt. But the real change will only come when, just like with seatbelts, these technologies are fitted on every car as standard, not as an optional extra on a select few.
Third place went to the “Crash Test Dummies” team for a phone app concept that would show drivers in real time how fast they were travelling on a particular road and warn them to slow down if they were going faster than the average speed of other road users. The Transport Agency’s Director of Connected Journeys, Martin McMullan, thanked major sponsors, Datacom, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, IBM, Google Cloud, Consegna Cloud and Uber for helping make the event happen. The Transport Agency plans another Hackathon in September.
Making roads safer for the young Children are at serious risk on Europe’s road network. This is the finding of a new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). According to the ETSC’s analysis of crash data, more than 8,000 children aged 0-14 years have been killed in road traffic collisions over the last 10 years in the European Union. Half of the children killed were travelling in cars, a third were walking and 13% were cycling, with one in every 13 child deaths in the European Union being the result of a road collision. The European Commission is expected to announce a long-overdue update of vehicle safety regulations, almost a decade since the last update. The EU is also currently preparing a road safety strategy for the next 10 years.
“Not a day goes by without a politician or a carmaker promising that autonomous cars will solve the road safety problem. But if that day comes, it will take decades. By 2030 perhaps there will already be a few million automated cars on the world’s roads, compared to more than a billion other vehicles, many of which will be those leaving factories this year. There is a grave risk that governments ignore the huge safety benefits that can be achieved by installing proven driver assistance technologies today" The report also shows that absent, inappropriate or incorrectly fitted child seats remain a significant problem across the EU. According to the World Health Organisation, correctly installed and used child restraints reduce the likelihood of a road death by up to 80%. ETSC is calling for better education, more enforcement and reduced taxation on child seats – permissible under EU law, but so far only put in place by Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Portugal and the UK. The ETSC is also calling for EU Member States to introduce well-enforced 30km/h zones in areas with high levels of walking and cycling, and around schools.
The data show that Sweden has the lowest rate of child road deaths in the European Union. At the other end of the spectrum, children in Romania are seven times more likely to die in a road collision. A number of EU countries have also reduced child road deaths faster than other road deaths over the last decade including Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK in particular.
A self-driving Uber car killed a pedestrian. Human drivers will kill 16 people today A woman in Tempe, Arizona, has died after being struck by a self-driving car on Sunday March 18th 2018 in what’s believed to be the first pedestrian fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle on a public road. The vehicle, operated by Uber, was in self-driving mode, though the car had a safety driver — who in theory could take control of the car in the event of an accident — behind the wheel, according to the Tempe Police Department. The woman, 49year-old Elaine Herzberg, was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk around 10 pm when she was hit. Self-driving cars are widely expected to be safer than cars driven by humans, especially as crash avoidance features become more advanced. It’ll take time to know this for sure, and to develop the regulations that minimize potential harms.
According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 5,997 pedestrian fatalities in the US in 2016 — or 16 each day. Globally, road traffic is the fifth leading cause of death in the world. What’s more, driving a car and being a pedestrian are particularly dangerous undertakings in America, relative to other high-income countries. The US ranks 41st out of 52 high-income countries on road traffic deaths per population, with only a handful of countries — including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia — trailing behind. In a recent blog post at JAMA, health policy professor Lawrence Gostin pointed out that the US has been lagging its peers when it comes to implementing evidence-based policies that reduce the risk of traffic deaths. Here’s Gostin: Although driving is much safer in America than in low- and middle-income countries, it is trending in the wrong direction: 2015 saw a 7.2% increase in traffic deaths from the previous year — the largest rise in nearly a half century. Provisional data from 2016 indicate an additional 8% increase in fatalities over the same period in 2015. The United States is a unique outlier among highincome countries. Between 1972 to 2011, the United States had lower declines in traffic deaths than 25 peer countries. During this period, for example, US deaths declined by 41%, whereas those in the Netherlands declined by 81%. ... Road users are now 40% more likely to die in the United States than in Canada or Australia. If the US had kept in step with other countries, David Leonhardt calculated at the New York Times, “about 10,000 fewer Americans each year — or almost 30 every day — would be killed.” The government could do many things to prevent these accidents — long before self-driving cars become the norm. The US might consider simply lowering speed limits more often and making speed cameras ubiquitous, Leonhardt suggested. These are measures officials in many other highincome countries have already moved on.
In the meantime, this tragedy will no doubt stoke fears about putting our lives in the hands of car computers. But let’s not forget that getting into, or walking or biking near, a car piloted by a human is one of the most dangerous activities we can do every day. In terms of absolute numbers harms, regular driving is one of the great public health threats.
But it doesn’t have to stop there. According to Laura Bliss at CityLab, “Roughly half of all vehicle occupants killed in crashes over the past five years weren’t wearing seat belts. Yet 16 states still lack primary enforcement seat belt laws for everyone on board.” Some 40 percent of motorcyclists killed on the road were helmet-free, but “more states
are repealing helmet requirements than tightening them,” Bliss writes. So before we freak out about this tragic selfdriving car death, we need to keep sight of the bigger picture: The non-autonomous vehicles we don’t give a second thought to are a major public health threat. Regulators should focus on how to make them less risky. And we emerge from the “Wild West phase of autonomous vehicles,” on understanding whether these computer-driven cars harm fewer people than their human-driven counterparts. (With only one death caused by an autonomous vehicle after the few million miles these cars have driven, the sample size is still too small to draw comparisons with traditional cars.)
Future road safety progress may be slow Future progress on road safety could be slower than hoped, according to the European Transport Safety Commission (ETSC). It warns that the high profile development of autonomous vehicles could restrain moves to improve road safety around the world. With road deaths killing up to 1.25 million people/year, lowering the casualty rate is seen as a priority. But a much sharper awareness of how to reduce the number of deaths and injuries is required. Estimates suggest that by 2030, several million self-driving cars may be in use globally. However the ETSC cautions that there will be over 1 billion cars still in use without this sophisticated technology. According to the ETSC, many of those vehicles operating in 2030 will be ones rolling off the production lines during this year and the next few years. A major cause for concern is that both policymakers and auto manufacturers are focussing on the future benefits of autonomous driving and are ignoring many of the causes of road crashes. But these collisions that could be avoided through the use of existing, affordable technologies.. The ETSC points out that systems such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and lane keeping systems (LKS) could prove as effective in reducing road deaths as the seatbelt. But as with the seatbelt, the biggest safety gains will only be seen when all cars are fitted with AEB, ISA and LKS technology. Offering these systems either as optional extras or on premium models only will have limited benefit.
Although the EU has delayed action on improving the minimum safety standards of vehicles for almost a decade, a major new proposal is expected shortly. But there is a risk that EU member states will allow auto makers an easy ride. The manufacturers may argue that as full vehicle autonomy is just around the corner there is no need to require all new vehicles to feature these safety systems. However the ETSC cautions that AEB, ISA and LKS technologies are essential tools in improving safety. Requiring these systems to be fitted now means that even as autonomous vehicles begin to proliferate, the existing vehicles in use will still feature key safety technologies. It is worth noting that many models available in developing nations are not equipped with many safety features as required in the developed markets of Europe or the US, such as airbags. As a result, there can be marked difference in the crash protection offered by the same models for different markets, with those available in the developing world offering far lower safety ratings. Manufacturers also tend to continue selling older generation models in developing markets because these are cheap to produce and require no development costs long after they have become defunct in Europe or the US. The ETSC warns that pressure is needed now to ensure auto markets start fitting these proven safety technologies. And it is clear that these systems should not just be fitted to vehicles for developed markets such as the US and Europe, but for truly global sales. Focussing on autonomous vehicles as the way to reduce road deaths does not provide a quick answer to casualty reduction. And the ETSC warns that with many obstacles in the way to the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles, it makes sense to require auto makers to utilise proven safety technology now.
China’s new planned
China has plans to build a smart highway in Zhejiang Province. The route will include warning technology and monitoring systems and will be complete in 2022. By utilising this technology the builders aim to boost the speed of traffic by 2030%, without compromising safety. The 161km stretch of highway will feature three lanes in either direction and will also feature mobile
charging systems for EVs. Once the route opens to traffic it is expected to halve journey times from Ningbo to Hangzhou from the present 2 hours.
Upcoming Events 28th ARRB Conference 29th April to 2nd May 2018 Brisbane Convention Centre www.arrb.com.au RIAA/NZRF Conference and Exhibition 29 & 30 August 2018 Dubbo, NSW www.riaa.com.au
NZTA/NZRF T 8 and T 12 The T 8 and T 12 applicator testing programme is a key component of industry self regulation. There is a .pdf version of the applicator certificates associated with each registration line. Grant Bosma joins NZTA Grant Bosma has recently been appointed Principal Surfacing Engineer for NZTA. This role was previously undertaken by Robert Busuttil who recently relocated to Melbourne to work for VicRoads. Grant will provide technical expertise to NZTA in the areas of pavement surfacings and roadmarking. He has been involved with civil and contracting engineering for over 35 years, working in the asphalt and bitumen production, technical support and laboratory testing side of the industry. Previously he was Industries Divisional Manager with Fulton Hogan based in Nelson and will continue to carry out his NZTA national role from Nelson. Grant has had experience while working out of Fulton Hoganâ€™s laboratory in Nelson assisting with T 8 certification of roadmarking plant. Grant is a member of CETANZ, the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry and is on the Committee of REAAA (Road Engineering Association of NZ) having recently stepped down as Chair. He also represents NZTA on two Austroads Research Management Committees. These can be accessed via a hyperlink off the certificate registration number. The certificates include a photograph of the applicator. T 12 certificates include schedules setting out the scope of certification.