Government promising more traffic cops to fight road toll

The government is promising more traffic cops on the roads to help fight the rising road toll after releasing a report critical of the previous government's safe roads programme.

This highly critical report, which was produced in 2015 but never made public, said National's 'safer journeys' plan failed to improve road safety.

Associate transport minister Julie Anne Genter says dramatic change in thinking is needed - and that could lead to more cops on the road and higher penalties for speeding or drink driving.

"We haven't even been enforcing speed and drink driving to the extent we did several years ago and that's probably why we're having increasing deaths and injuries on the roads," Ms Genter said.

"It's obvious there are real opportunities by having a focus on national and regional targets, we invested a lot of money in new roads and built a lot of new roads that are the safest in the country."

Among the report's recommendations are increasing penalties for drink and drugged driving and speeding.

"It's not clear that penalties in themselves are major deterrents but nothing is off the table," Ms Genter said.

National transport spokesperson Jami Lee Ross says the current government "just want to criticise what we did, actually we put a lot of effort in trying to make the roads safer," he said.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford says NZTA have told him there's $800 million worth of improvements needed on local roads - that if fixed would save 160 lives

The government want to pay for local road improvements rather than big motorway projects

"The kind of changes we'll be making for instance, redesigning intersections, median barriers, adjusting speed limits locally in order to save lives," Mr Twyford said.

Taupo Mayor David Trewavas says improvements are needed in his district

"We are the main traverse spot, we go north south east and west, it's a busy carriageway, we need to put more passing lanes in, median barriers," Mr Trewavas said. 

The Labour-led Government has released a report produced in 2015 that was never made public. Source: 1 NEWS