WELLINGTON, July 17 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand is investing a record 1.4 billion New Zealand dollars (0.94 billion U.S. dollars) over three years to upgrade over 3,300 km of most dangerous roads, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said on Wednesday.
The government is seeking feedback on a road safety plan that aims to prevent 750 deaths and 5,600 serious injuries on roads over the next 10 years.
The plan proposes greater investment in proven safety upgrades such as median barriers, roundabouts and safe cycling infrastructure.
"Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades," said Genter.
This plan adopts the world-leading Vision Zero approach to road safety, which applies the principle that no one should be killed or seriously injured on roads.
"We do not expect to eliminate road deaths overnight but we can, over time, improve our roads so that simple mistakes do not result in devastating consequences," said Genter.
"To drive real action from the central and local government we are proposing to set a target to reduce annual deaths and serious injuries by 40 percent by 2030 (compared to the 377 people killed last year)," she added.
"Drivers also have to do better, and we're investing more in driver training and education, with new programs targeted at helping younger drivers get their license and develop safe driving skills," said Genter.