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Official Guide to the Government Court: N.Z. Centennial Exhibition

Transport Department

Transport Department

The Transport Department co-ordinates and controls goods and passenger transportation with a view to securing for the community the greatest possible safety, efficiency and economy. The work of the Department is organised in two branches. One is concerned with the elimination of road hazards, the enforcement of traffic rules and the education of road users in habits likely to facilitate the free and safe flow of traffic; the other controls the licensing of all commercial road-transport services to eliminate wasteful overlapping and to provide the best service to the public. Excluding taxis and town carriers, the annual expenditure on goods and transport services licensed by the Department exceeds £4,000,000. More than 300,000 motor vehicles—that is, one vehicle for every five persons—come under its jurisdiction.

The first branch of the Department's work includes the organisation of the Road Safety Campaign. Reports of all motor accidents causing personal injuries are forwarded to the Department, where they are analysed in detail. From the analysis, plans are formulated for the elimination of factors likely to increase the risk of accident. The Department controls a staff of traffic inspectors, stationed throuqhout page 71 the Dominion. The inspectors, in their patrols, pay particular attention to danger spots and hazardous driving habits, as well as assisting in the traffic education of all classes of road users. The classification of highways to prevent excessive damage by heavy vehicles is carried out by the Department, the enforcement of the classification being among the duties of the inspectors. The Department is also in charge of the mechanical inspection of motor vehicles.

During the past three years, an extensive educational campaign has been carried out among motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians with a view to developing safe and courteous road habits. All means of publicity have been utilised—the Press, radio, leaflets, posters, films, stickers, and many others. The result of these and other road-safety activities is reflected in the steadily decreasing death-rate.

All commercial services for the conveyance of goods or passengers are operated under the licence of a District Licensing Authority. The four Authorities, located in the main centres, and holding regular sittings in country districts, have power to grant, amend, or transfer licences. They aim to co-ordinate the terms of the licence in such a way that working conditions are safeguarded, wasteful competition prevented, and the public receive the maximum service at the most economic price. As an illustration of the benefits of the licensing system, the co-ordination of passenger-service licences has resulted in a saving of 8,000,000 vehicle-miles per year.