A day at the New Zealand Transport Agency (Day 5)

No presentations today, phew! Instead I spent the day at NZTA (which has the combined functions of the UK DfT and Highways Agency).

There I caught up with some of the people I had met earlier in the week at the conference and spent some time learning about SafetyNET which is the NZTA’s GIS based tool for managing safety improvements. The tool combines historic crash data together with the New Zealand Road Assessment Programme (KiwiRAP   http://www.kiwirap.org.nz/) and process outlined in the New Zealand High Risk Rural Roads Guide http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/high-risk-rural-roads-guide/ to determine the most appropriate road safety treatment strategy for sections of highway.

Its basically an objective way of assigning funds for road safety schemes to those roads where most lives can be saved. If you are interested in finding out more, visit http://www.abley.com/publicdocs/SafetyNET_-_Breathing_Life_into_Road_Safety_Analysis.pdf

The UK uses the same system for identifying high risk roads, see the Yorkshire and Humber ones below (green is good, black is bad).




Following that, we took a trip over to Opus Research (formerly Central Labs) and met with Jared Thomas who leads the behavioural science team and Bill Frith, who has researched the effect of speed cameras on safety extensively.


Jared had presented at the conference, outlining a study he had undertaken on advance warning VMS signs. It was a well designed experiment, but it didn’t stop the audience from asking some provocative questions….but the data spoke for itself…..

That’s all from Wellington, its been a busy few days but its been a good mix of people and topics. Looking forward to heading home to some warmth…maybe?




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