Road safety

Our industry relies on public roads, shared with the rest of New Zealand.

Transporting New Zealand is committed to road safety as the public road is the workplace for truck drivers. There are many factors that can impact safety for all road users including the condition of the roads, time spent on the road, driver distractions, fatigue, the condition of the vehicle, and the use of drugs and alcohol.

We believe if the Government is serious about road safety, it should invest in engineering, redesign and regular maintenance of New Zealand roads, as well as building new roads. We also see driving skills as critical to road safety and believe there should be more investment in training people to drive in all manner of real-life situations.

Huge improvements have been made in heavy vehicle road safety performance since the mid-1990s. The number of fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles has more than halved over that period. The reduction is even more significant when the growth in the number of trucks and the distance travelled is taken into account.

The most common cause of fatal accidents involving a truck is another vehicle. Cars are responsible for around 66% of all fatal truck crashes in New Zealand.

The industry’s improving performance is due to:

  • A stringent series of driving tests covering vehicles from small delivery trucks to multi-axle A and B train rigs. These require drivers to prove thorough knowledge of the road code and rules affecting vehicle weight, dimension and performance. Age restrictions apply for each licence class and a demonstrated ability to drive each type of vehicle is also required.
  • New trucks with greater safety performance and features such as traction control and ABS braking. Measures to improve truck stability and safety compliance.
  • Transporting New Zealand working with the regulators, including Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and WorkSafe NZ, to improve the industry’s safety performance.

Transporting New Zealand supports the Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill and has advocated for some years for roadside drug testing, which the bill will allow for.

Transport operators regularly and randomly test drivers for drugs and alcohol.