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The Safe System in Practice – a sector-wide training programme.

Climo, H, Dugdale, M, Rossiter, L (Peer reviewed)



Safer Journeys, New Zealand’s road safety strategy to 2020, adopted the Safe System approach. The Safe System in Practice training course was designed in 2011-12 to improve understanding of the approach, and build the skills, confidence and relationships across the sector to implement it.

The course, aimed at planners, engineers, road operations and maintenance managers, educators, enforcers, and other system designers who influence road safety; outlines the Safe System approach and principles, and best practice treatments to strengthen every element of the system. The cross-disciplinary content is developed and presented by experts and is reinforced by an action learning approach using New Zealand case studies that are worked on by small groups.

In the first 12 months the course has been delivered to more than 500 people, and initial evaluations show it has been extremely successful. The course designers aim to train 500 more over the next year. This intensive programme gives the sector the best chance of changing the road safety conversation, and developing a shared understanding of how to reduce deaths and serious injuries, in the shortest possible time.

The paper outlines the course design, results and lessons learned, with particular reference to how the course could be replicated elsewhere.