Why VKT reduction is important for road safety, emissions reduction, and mode shift


This webinar aims to provide multiple perspectives on the case for VKT reduction.


Overview: One of the largest determinants of road safety risk is simply the amount of vehicle travel each year. As the number of vehicles, trips, and kilometres travelled grows, so does the likelihood of death and serious injuries. Likewise, if travel was to decrease then so would the risk of road related harm. Hence reducing vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) will be an important tool in achieving the Road to Zero goal of a 40% reduction in deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Meanwhile Government released its first Emissions Reduction Plan under the Zero Carbon Act 2019, which requires a reduction of transport emissions of 41% by 2035 from 2019 level, and a reduction in VKT by cars and light vehicles by 20% by 2035. Changing the amount and way we travel including greater use of public and active modes will be crucial if these goals will be achieved.

This webinar aims to provide multiple perspectives on the case for VKT reduction, including the opportunities and challenges of an integrated case where multiple objectives might be articulated and achieved. Hosted by the NZ Chapter of the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS), Anna Bray Sharpin will firstly outline the road safety challenge and the role that VKT reduction and mode shift needs to play, followed by Colin Morrison who will explain the role of VKT reduction in responding to the Emissions Reduction Plan. Finally, Peter McGlashan will outline the urban mobility work that is underway within the Multi-modal and Integration team to respond to the VKT reduction challenge. A Q&A session will then expand on the overlaps and opportunities for progressing VKT reduction.

Presenters (all from Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency):

  • Anna Bray Sharpin is Principal Advisor – Speed, Infrastructure and Urban Mobility, Safe System – Road Safety, in the System Leadership team;
  • Colin Morrison is Principal Advisor Environment and Sustainability in the System Leadership team; and
  • Peter McGlashan is Lead Advisor Urban Mobility in the Multimodal and Innovation team.