ACRS Letter to New Zealand’s new Minister of Transport

The ACRS sent a letter to the newly appointed New Zealand Minister of Transport the Hon. Simeon Brown on 24 November 2023. Read the full letter here.

Attn: Hon Simeon Brown
Minister of Transport, Energy, Local Government, and Auckland 

Dear Minister Brown,

Congratulations on your re-election to Parliament and appointment as Minister of Transport.

The Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) is the region’s peak membership association for road safety. Our members include experts from all areas of road safety: policy makers, health and transport professionals, academics, community organisations, researchers, government agencies, private companies, and members of the public.

We strongly support the government’s commitment to improving road safety and would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you priority interventions for the next three years.

Road safety encompasses a multifaceted approach to preventing traffic related injuries and fatalities. This involves many aspects, such as road traffic management, road engineering, vehicles safety standards, safe speed limits, fatigue, distracted driving, drink- and drug-driving, vulnerable road user safety, driver education and behaviour, licensing, enforcement of traffic laws, public transport systems, post-crash response, data and analysis, evidence-based road safety research, maintenance of existing infrastructure, environmental considerations, international partnerships and road safety policy and leadership. Each of these aspects plays a critical role in a comprehensive approach to road safety, requiring collaboration between governments, industry stakeholders, non-government organisations, and the public.

With one person dying and 6 being seriously injured on roads in Aotearoa New Zealand every day, at a cost of $4.6 billion annually, there is a major opportunity for our collective actions to reduce costs on New Zealanders.

The top road safety priorities for New Zealand that we would like to discuss with you include:

  • how the government’s objectives of a ‘faster’ and ‘more productive’ transport system can be achieved whilst improving safety in New Zealand.
  • the cost of infrastructure and how best to focus investment across most of the network.
  • how New Zealand can join Australia and agree to publish Star Ratings of the highway network as per our Australian state counterparts.
  • low and zero-cost interventions, such as through improved enforcement, fairer penalties, and better prevention of drink- and drug-driving.
  • how to improve road conditions and infrastructure to prevent crashes.

The outcomes of these priorities will reduce the health, social and importantly, economic costs of road trauma in New Zealand , as has already begun to be seen from recent speed management initiatives .

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you at your earliest convenience. We can be contacted via email to

Yours sincerely,

Paul Durdin
Co-Chair NZ Chapter, ACRS

Bruce Conaghan
Co-Chair NZ Chapter, ACRS

Dr Ingrid Johnston