Safe roads and roadsides

Goal for 2020

Our Safe System goal is to improve the safety of roads and roadsides to significantly reduce the likelihood of crashes occurring and to minimise the consequences of crashes when they do. This requires a focus on reducing the highest risk crash types: head-on, run-off road, intersection crashes, and crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.

Where we are

The Government is investing $600 million over six years in the Safe Roads and Roadsides Programme which aims to significantly reduce deaths and serious injuries on rural state highways around the country.  The programme is being carried out by Safe Roads, a delivery arm of the NZ Transport Agency specifically created for the task. Find out more at

The High Risk Rural Roads GuideSafer Journeys for Motorcycling Guide, and the High Risk Intersection Guide all strengthen our approach to targeting high-risk roads and roadsides. They provide robust tools to guide investment and improvements.


Work will continue on the safe roads and roadsides actions identified in the 2016-2020 Action Plan.

The National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) 2016-2020 includes many programmed actions to improve high-risk roads, particularly on state highways.

Identify and improve high-risk intersections

Use the High Risk Intersection Guide to identify and target the 100 highest-risk intersections to address by 2020.

Improve high-risk rural and local roads 

Head-on and run-off road crashes will be identified and targeted using the methods and treatments outlined in the High Risk Rural Roads Guide.

Reduce risk on high-risk motorcycling routes

Addressing high-risk rural roads and high-risk intersections will include using the Safer Journeys for Motorcycling Guide and working with the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council to devise solutions to reduce motorcycle deaths and serious injuries.

Ensure optimal road safety benefits by prioritising investment in operations and maintenance 

A review and alignment of funding arrangements within the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding, NZ Transport Agency and Territorial Local Authority funding procedures will occur to ensure sufficient ongoing investment priority for essential operational and maintenance costs associated with safety improvements. The review is important because Safe System improvements such as improved skid resistance, electronic curve warning signs, audio-tactile markings, variable speed signs and safety barriers carry increased operational and maintenance costs. 

Safe System

A Safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury