'It's tragic and it's shocking' - Julie Anne Genter talks road toll shame

Drive 29/01/2018

The confirmation of New Zealand's national shame came through today.

No, it's not about domestic violence or the abuse of kids in state care, or even the incarceration rate in New Zealand.

We're talking about the other national shame, our terrible road toll.

The provisional numbers for the 2017 road toll have been released and the numbers are not pretty. The total is 380, the highest since 2009.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter joined Ali Mau on RadioLIVE Drive to discuss the numbers and the plan for lowering them.

Genter says the numbers are not good.

It's tragic and it's shocking.

"The truth is that the rate of serious injuries and deaths has been increasing faster than the rate of people driving," she told RadioLIVE.

The Ministry of Transport held a 'crisis' meeting late last year with emergency services and the NZTA to find out the causes of road crashes and what can be done to reduce fatalities.

"There's not going to be one silver bullet.

"But we know that compared to other countries, like Sweden, we have a much higher rate of deaths and serious injuries for the amount of distance traveled," she said.

"There are a number of things that we can do differently. Some of that has to do with the number of police and enforcement on our roads, some of it has to do with the design of our roads.

"No matter how skilled your drivers are, inevitably if people are driving long distances there can be mistakes.

"And you need to make sure the road environment is as forgiving of those mistakes as possible," she said.

Julie Anne Genter says making our roads safer will be a major priority for the Government in 2018.

Listen to the full interview with Julie Anne Genter above.

Drive with Ali Mau, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.