How do we measure Harm in Transport? (TG2023)

How we measure the level of harm in our land transport system may influence how we manage our safety goals. Traditional road safety measures of harm are the numbers of deaths and injuries suffered in crashes. The potential for these to be under-reported is well known but also overlooks other examples of casualties within the transport environment.

Tree roots on walking pathRecent safety investigations of people walking, biking, motorcycling and using other transport devices in Auckland found that considerably more people are suffering serious injuries on roads and paths from incidents not involving other vehicles. Research into road crashes nationally found similarly large social costs from non-motorised user incidents.

These findings may help inform funding decisions for maintenance of paths, vegetation and kerb-crossings, where many incidents occur. Targeting reduced casualties on our transport network can also be at odds with other targets to increase modes like walking and cycling (due to personal health benefits).

Glen Koorey presented on these findings at the 2023 NZ Transportation Conference. You can view the Powerpoint slides here and the accompanying paper is here.

This paper was awarded Highly Commended in the Best Think Piece paper category!

Where presented/published

NZ Transportation Conference, Mar 2023, Tauranga NZ