New Zealand / Transport

Drivers need more training to improve road safety - Road Transport Forum

10:28 am on 11 January 2021

A group representing truck drivers says the government needs to toughen up on dangerous drivers, to prevent crashes.


The Road Transport Forum says road improvements are the main focus of safety efforts, including rumble strips, median barriers, and slowing down traffic. But the main causes of crashes are bad driving and distractions.

Of the 11 people killed over the holiday period, five were not wearing seatbelts.

"We should be investing in people, their skills and competencies" - Forum chief executive Nick Leggett

Forum chief executive Nick Leggett said truck drivers were held to high standards and there had been massive improvements in performance and safety in the industry.

He said none of that mattered if truckies were sharing the road with distracted drivers lacking the skills to drive safely.

He told Morning Report that Waka Kotahi numbers suggested "over 90 percent of the accidents on our roads are caused by human behaviour".

Leggett said the government's $1.4 billion spend on road safety upgrades was not working.

"We should be investing in people, not in roads and hard surfaces and ... maintenance of that. We should be investing in people, their skills and competencies."

As for people not wearing seatbelts, he called it "stupidity".