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Pages 1 to 20

Pages 1 to 20

Pages 1 to 20

Pages 1 to 20

H.--40,

1937. NEW ZEALAND.

TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT (ANNUAL REPORT OF).

Presented to both Houses of the General Assembly by Leave.

The Hon. R. Semple, Minister of Transport, Wellington. Sir, — Transport Department, 23rd September, 1937. Herewith I have the honour to submit the annual report of the Transport Department for the year ended 31st March, 1937. I have, &c., G. L. Laurenson, Commissioner of Transport.

INDEX TO CONTENTS.

• Page 1. Introductory ■ • • ■ ■ • • ■ • • • • • • • • • ■ 3 2. Motor-vehicles Insurance (Third-party Risks) Act, 1928 .. .. .. .. . . . . 4 (а) Statistics re Premiums and Claims .. . ■ . • .. . • •. •. 4 (б) Review of Premium Rates, &c. .. .. •. . . .. . • • • . ■ 4 (c) " Hit and Run " Drivers .. .. •. • ■ • ■ ■ ■ • ■ ■ 4 3. Motor-vehicles Act, 1924 . . • • ■ • • • ■ • • • • • • • • • ® (a) Registrations of Motor-vehicles, by Types of Vehicle, 1927-37 .. . . .. .. 5 (b) Registrations of Motor-vehicles, by Country of Manufacture, 1927-37 .. .. . . .. 6 (c) Motor-vehieles licensed at 31st March, 1937 .. .. .. . • . . .. 8 (d) Motor-vehicle Registration-plates .. . . .. .. - • . • . • . • 9 (e) Motor-vehicles actually on the Road . . .. . ■ .. .. .. . • 9 (/) Petrol-consumption, by Motor-vehicles and otherwise .. .. .. .. . . 10 4. Motor-spirits Taxation Act, 1927 . . . ■ • • • • ■ • ■ • ■ ■ ■ • 10 (а) Petrol-tax Yield, 1928-37 .. . • . • • • • • • • • • • • 10 (б) Distribution of Petrol-tax .. .. .. . •• ■■ H (c) Refunds of Petrol-tax .. . . . • • • • • ■ • • • • • • H 5. Special Mileage-taxation . . • ■ ■ ■ • ■ • • • • • ■ ■ • • • 12 6. Road Finance . ■ • ■ ■ • • ■ • • • • • • • • ■ • • • 12 (а) Dominion's Road Bill, 1934-36 .. . • ■ ■ • • .... .. .. 12 (б) Sources of Money expended on Road Bill, 1934-36 .. . . . . .. .. .. 14 (c) Annual Charges per Mile on Roads, Streets, &e., 1934-36 .. .. . . . . .. 15 (d) Motor-taxation . . • • • ■ • • ■ • • ■ • • • • • • ' 7. Heavy Motor-vehicle Regulations, 1932 .. .. .. . . . ■ • • • • • ■ 15 (а) Speeds of Heavy Motor-vehicles .. .. .. . • ■ ■ • • ■ • • • 15 (б) Limitation of Loads on Roads .. .. .. •• •• •• 16

I—H. 40.

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Page 8. Motor-vehicles Amendment Act, 1936 .. . .. .. .. .. .. 17 9. Traffic Census .. .. .. .. .. .. . . .. .. .. 17 10. Road Safety .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 18 A. Road Accident Statistics .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 18 B. New Zealand Road Safety Council .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 20 C. Preventive Measures .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 21 (i) Publicity and Education .. .. .. .. . . . . .. .. 21 (ii) Traffic Control .. .. .. .. . . . . .. .. .. 22 (iii) Road Conditions .. . . .. .. . . .. .. .. 23 (iv) Improved Visibility at Night .. . . . . .. .. . . .. 23 (v) Vehicle Inspection .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . . 23 11. Transport Licensing Act, 1931 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 24 A. Passenger Services — (a) Continuous Passenger-service Licenses, 1936-37 .. .. .. .. .. 25 (b) Seasonal Passenger-service Licenses, 1936-37 . . .. .. .. .. 25 (c) Temporary Passenger-service Licenses, 1936-37 .. . . .. .. .. 25 (d) Traffic and Financial Statistics — (i) Traffic and Operating Statistics .. .. .. .. . . .. 25 (ii) Assets and Liabilities .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 25 (iii) Fare Schedules .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 26 B. Goods Services— (a) Applications for Goods-service Licenses .. .. .. .. .. .. 26 (b) Financial and Operating Statistics .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 27 (c) Assets and Liabilities .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 27 (d) Co-ordination of Road and Rail Long-distance Freight Services .. .. .. 27 C. Appeals .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 27 12. Commercial Air Transport .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 27 13. Changes in Transport Law in New Zealand .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 28 14. Overseas Transport Legislation .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 29 15. Appendices— A. Statistical Tables — 1. Motor-vehicle Registrations by Highways Districts as at 31st December, 1936 .. .. 30 2. Motor-vehicles licensed as at 31st March, 1937 .. .. .. .. .. 30 3. Motor-vehicles licensed during Years 1923 to 1936 .. .. .. . . .. 31 4. Distribution of Petrol-tax to Boroughs for Year ended 31st March, 1937 .. .. 31 5. Lengths of various Classes of Roads, Streets, and Bridges during Years 1922 to 1936 inclusive .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 32 6. Lengths of various Types of Bridges as at 31st March, 1923 to 1936, inclusive .. .. 32 7. Annual Yield from Taxation of Motor-vehicles, 1926 to 1937 . . .. .. .. 33 8. Applications for Passenger-service Licenses for Year ended 31st March, 1937 .. .. 34 9. Traffic and Financial Statistics of Licensed Passenger Services for Years ended 31st March, 1933 to 1937, inclusive .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 35 10. Average Operating Expenses and Revenue, in Pence per Vehicle-mile, of Licensed Passenger Services for Years ending 31st March, 1933 to 1937, inclusive .. .. .. 36 11. Assets and Liabilities of Licensed Passenger Services as at 31st March, 1933 to 1937, inclusive .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . . 37 12. Applications for Goods-service Licenses for Year ended 31st March, 1937 .. .. 38 13. Traffic, Revenue, Expenditure, and Capital Statistics of Licensed Goods Services for Years ended March, 1934 to 1937, inclusive .. .. .. .. .. .. 39 14. Analysis of Data relating to Fatal Motor Accidents in the Dominion during the Years ended 31st March, 1930 to 1937, inclusive .. .. .. .. .. .. 40 B. Reports of Sub-committees of the New Zealand Road Safety Council as adopted by the Council — Adult Education and Propaganda .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 41 Child Education and Propaganda .. .. .. . . .. .. .. 45 Vehicle and Highway Lighting .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 46 Lighting of Highways .. .. .. .. .. . . .. .. 49 Road Conditions .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 51 Traffic Laws .. . . . . .. .. .. .. . . .. 53 Accident Statistics .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ~ 54

2

H.—4o

REPORT.

1. INTRODUCTION. The summarized outstanding points recorded, for the year are as follows . (a) An expansion of business in both passenger and freight services licensed under the Transport Licensing Act. (b) Good progress made by the four District Transport Licensing Authorities in the licensing and control of the motor passenger and freight services, and in improving the labour conditions in the licensed motor freight services. (c) New car registrations during the year were 25,796, or a daily average of over 70, the highest figure yet recorded ; while the registrations of commercial vehicles (8,999) again exceeded the previous peak year. (d) The estimated quantity of petrol consumed by motor transport during the year was just over 72,000,000 gallons, or 9,000,000 gallons in excess of the figure for the previous peak year, 1930. (e) The receipts from all classes of motor taxation (including Customs duties in respect of vehicles and parts) was just under £5,350,000, nearly £900,000 ahead of the figure for the previous year. (f) The estimated annual expenditure on roads, streets, and bridges during 1935-36 amounted to £8,100,000, or £400,000 in excess of the figure for the previous year. (q) A further 2,068 miles of roads were classified according to load-limits during the year. This brings the percentages of roads classified to 95 per cent, for main highways and 54 per cent, for rural roads. (h) Persons killed in road accidents numbered 213 during the year, an increase ot 10 over the figure for the previous year. (i) A representative conference of all interested sections of the public was convened by the Hon. the Minister of Transport to consider the road-accident problem. (j) A National Road Safety Council was set up to act in an advisory capacity to the Hon. the Minister of Transport. (k) The Traffic Regulations were overhauled, and a Road Code for the guidance of all classes of road-users was prepared. Copies of the Road Code and summary of the regulations supplied to every home and to motorists. (I) Far-reaching measures for road safety instituted. (m) As from Ist April, 1937, the Transport Department assumed control of Traffic Inspectors formerly under the control of the Main Highways Board. (n) General speed-limit of 30 m.p.h. adopted in borough and town districts and closely populated areas. (o) New comprehensive system of statistics relating to road-traffic accidents instituted, (p) Probation scheme for education of traffic offences instituted. (q) Considerable increases during calendar year 1936 in convictions for of negligent or dangerous driving, excessive speed, and drunk in charge of motor-vehicle. (r) System of six-monthly inspections for mechanical fitness of all classes of motor-vehicles, not already required to be inspected, instituted. (s) New provisions relating to the maximum driving-hours and periods of rest in respect of the drivers of all commercial motor-vehicles came into operation. (t) The claims paid and estimated liability in respect of outstanding claims under the thirdparty insurance scheme again exceeded the revenue from premiums received. (u) The number of claims during the year under the agreement relating to "hit-and-run" drivers was 30, compared with 38 for the previous year. (v) Institution of policy of single ownership of road and rail services over certain longdistance routes with a view to securing the co-ordination of these services. (w) Expansion in commercial air transport services.

3

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2. MOTOR-VEHICLES INSURANCE (THIRD-PARTY RISKS) ACT, 1928. (a) Statistics. . The Motor-vehicles Insurance (Third-party Risks) Act passed in 1928 compels every owner of a motor-vehicle to insure against liability to pay damages on account of the death or injury to another person caused through the use of a motor-vehicle. Payment of the insurance premiums is made annually to the Deputy Registrars of Motor-vehicles simultaneously with that of the annual license fee payable under the Motor-vehicles Act. Owners of motor-vehicles are required to nominate each year the insurance company with which the contract of insurance is to be made. For the year ended 31st May, 1936, forty-four insurance concerns gave the prescribed notice to undertake business under the Act, and carried on business accordingly. The following table shows the experience of the scheme during the seven years ended 31st May, 1936. The figures for claims do not represent the amount paid during each year, but refer to accidents happening during each particular

(b) Annual Review of Premium Rates. Section 16 of the Act provides that the amount of the premiums to be paid in respect of third - party insurance may be fixed from time to time by Order in Council. In accordance with the usual practice, the financial operations of the companies undertaking this class of insurance were carefully examined, and it was decided to make the following alterations to the premiums for the year 1937-38 :— 6

(c) " Hit-and-Run " Drivers. The table hereunder indicates the number of claims and the amounts paid out under the asn-eement gazetted on the 29th October, 1931, at page 3023, and relating to third-party insurance for victims of Hit-and-run drivers, the negligence of whom has resulted in personal injuries to the victims. The table indicates that the previous rapid increase in numbers of this type of accident has not onlv been checked, but that there is a drop of over 20 per cent, as between this year's figures and those of lclSu y6cir. „ tile in £ crease ln , maximum penalty brought into effect in August, 1936, for this type of oftence (£5OO fine or five years imprisonment, as against the former £20 fine) has assisted this reduction m the number of these claims, although it was effective for only part of the year covered.

4

Claims paid and EstiYear ended 31st May, Revenue from mated Liability for . . Premiums. Claims outstanding Uaim Katio. at 31st May. iqqa „ „ f" £ PerCent. 1930 .. .. .. .. 235,007 202,380 86-12 }™J 242,864 186,379 76-74 JJ55 233/731 161,352 69-03 jqS 229,133 151,095 . 65-94 JSJ i 221,734 198,614 89-57 j™ ! 211/709 288,554 136-30 1J36 ■■ •• •• •• 230,696 320,621 138-98 Totals .. .. ,.| 1,604,874 j 1,508,995 94-03

I ll I Class " 01d Premiums. New Premiums. Class 5 .. .. .. 4ls. 4 , Class 6 . . .. . . 27s. 30s ' Class 8b '' '' ■ • £6, plus 5s. for each seat over 10 £6, plus 2s. 6d. for each seat over 10 Class 8c 1 ( m ™r'/ 10) v. (maximum, £8). • • £6 > P lus 15s - for each seat over 7 £6, plus 7s. 6d. for each seat over 7 (maximum, £12 15s.) (maximum, £9 7s. 6d.).

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Table of Claims.

3. MOTOR-VEHICLES ACT, 1924. (a) Registrations of Motor-vehicles, by Types of Vehicle. Under the Motor-vehicles Act a new vehicle is registered and simultaneously licensed for the ensuing year or part thereof. The license is renewable each year. If a license is not renewed, the registration is classed as " dormant," and after remaining " dormant " for two complete years is cancelled, the assumption being that the vehicle in question is permanently off the road. If, however, the vehicle is again brought into use after its registration has thus been cancelled, it is treated as a new registration. The registration figures set out hereunder, therefore, are not an exact record of the number of new vehicles introduced into our traffic system ; they include an unknown but probably small number of Vehicles which have been out of commission for more than two years. The following table sets out the annual registrations since 1926 : —

The foregoing figures have been incorporated in the following table, which shows the relative increase or decrease in the annual registrations measured according to the figures for 1926 : —

5

Number of A , „ for Amount paid Expenses incurred Year ending 31st May, which Claims ° ut to , by Underwriters in ma( j e Claimants. handling Claims. £ s. d. £ s. d. 1932 (five months only) . . . , . . 5 595 0 0 145 3 6 1933 .... .. .. .. 11 885 8 0 144 8 7 1934 . . .. . . .. 12 720 2 6 151 10 10 1935 .. .. .. .. .. 29 1,661 11 4 327 8 4 1936 .. .. .. . 38 1,224 9 6 478 9 2 1937 .. .. .. .. .. 30 | 1,372 19 3 215 6 1 Totals .. .. .. .. 125 6,459 10 7 1,462 6 6

Year ended 31st March, j Cars. (Commercial Vehicles. Cycles. Total Registrations. , I _ I i * —j • - - -— 1926 18,811 4,409 5,130 28,350 1927 .. .. .. 16,439 4,692 5,464 26,595 1928 .. .. .. 12,531 | 3,399 4,560 20,490 1929 .. .. .. 18,739 4,167 4,768 27,674 1930 20,802 5,745 4,300 30,847 1931 12,378 4,113 3,139 19,630 1932 6,151 2,656 2,058 10,865 1933 4,716 t 2,640 2,072 9,428 1934 .. .. .. 5,551 3,339 1,956 10,846 1935 .. .. .. 12,895 5,011 2,233 20,139 1936 .. .. .. 19,469 6,445 2,421 28,335 1937 .. .. .. | 25,796 8,999 3,028 37,823

Year ended 31st March, j Gars. Commercial Vehicles.; Cycles. ! Total Registrations. 1926 .. .. 100 100 I 100 100 1927 .. .. 87 ! 106 i 107 94 1928 .... 67 77 89 72 1929 .... 100 95 93 98 1930 .. .. Ill 130 84 109 1931 .... 66 93 j 61 69 1932 .... 33 60 ! 40 38 1933 .... 25 60 40 33 1934 .... 30 76 38 38 1935 .... 69 114 44 71 1936 .. .. 103 146 47 100 1937 .. .. 137 204 59 133 l||

H.—4o,

An interesting feature of the above tables is the response shown by the car, as compared with the commercial vehicle, to conditions of trade boom or depression. The car was influenced earlier by the depression, and has been slower in reacting to the improved conditions. Motor-cycles are falling behind, due, no doubt, to the increasing numbers of small cars. The commercial vehicle was influenced to a relatively smaller degree by the depression, and its rate of entry into our traffic system, taken over a number of years, seems to be accelerating. (b) Registrations of Motor-vehicles, by Country of Manufacture. The following table shows the country of manufacture and the number of motor-vehicles registered during the years ended 31st March, 1927 to 1937, inclusive : —

6

United States of _ , Year ended 31st March, Great Britain. America or Other Countries. . , . Canada. Registrations. Motor-cars. 1927 .. .. 2,185 13,623 631 16,439 1928 .. .. 2,172 10,078 281 12,531 1929 .. .. 2,886 15,667 186 18,739 1930 .. .. 3,675 16,993 i 134 20,802 1931 .. .. 3,265 9,057 56 12,378 1932 .. .. 2,607 3,477 67 6,151 1933 .. .. 2,832 1,834 50 4,716 1934 .. 3,091 2,406 54 5,551 1935 .. .. 6,096 6,730 69 12,895 1936 .. .. 9,396 10,023 50 19,469 1937 .. .. 14,556 11,133 107 25,796 i Totals .. 52,761 101,021 1,685 155,467 Commercial Vehicles. 1927 .. .. 630 3,907 155 4,692 1928 .. .. 522 2,706 171 3,399 1929 .. .. 522 3,318 327 4,167 1930 .. .. 502 4,792 451 5,745 1931 .. .. 392 3,225 496 4,113 1932 .. .. 447 1,574 635 2,656 1933 .. .. 686 1,149 805 2,640 1934 .. .. 941 1,471 927 3,339 1935 .. .. 1,266 2,791 954 5,011 1936 .. .. 1,515 3,785 1,145 6,445 1937 .. .. 1,955 4,991 2,053 8,999 Totals .. 9,378 33,709 8,119 51,206 Motor-cycles. 1927 .. .. 3,851 1,592 j 21 5,464 1928 .. .. 3,479 1,067 ! 14 4,560 1929 .. .. 3,794 949 25 4,768 1930 .. .. 3,486 802 12 4,300 1931 .. .. 2,581 548 10 3,139 1932 .. .. 1,567 483 8 2,058 1933 .. .. 1,515 545 12 2,072 1934 .. .. 1,428 514 14 1,956 1935 .. .. 1,669 542 22 2,233 1936 .. .. 1,897 486 38 2,421 1937 .. .. 2,600 419 9 3,028 Totals .. 27,867 7,947 185 35,999

H.—40

The foregoing figures are expressed as percentages in the following table : —

The above table shows a steady growth of the share of new cars obtained by Great Britain up till the depression year of 1933, when 60 per cent, came from that source. Then came a drop following upon the improving economic conditions, with a sudden increase for 1936-37 to 57 per cent. This increase during a boom period is no doubt due to the increased prosperity of the community. A somewhat similar trend is noticeable in the case of commercial vehicles, excepting for the increase in vehicles from Great Britain in 1936-37. In this case the imports from the United States of America and Canada out-numbered commercial-vehicle imports from Great Britain by over 2to 1. It should be noted that the figures from " other countries " has been omitted from the percentage table ; this is because practically all of the figures under that heading refer to trailers, 2,003 of the 2,053 vehicles under that heading for 1936-37 being for trailers. In the motor-cycle field the British entry shows an increasing predominance since the depression years, and the slight swing-over to American machines has not been maintained. Foreign motorcycles do not appear to be able to establish any hold on the New Zealand motor-cycle market.

7

p , United States of n ,, _ T , „, Year ended 31st March, I Br [ tain Countries. Registrations. Motor-cars. 1927 .. ..13 83 4 100 1928 .... 17 81 2 100 1929 .... 15 84 1 100 1930 .... 17 82 1 100 1931 .... 26 73 1 100 1932 .... 42 57 1 100 1933 .... 60 39 1 100 1934 .. ..56 43 1 100 1935 .... 47 52 1 100 1936 .. .. 48 52 .. 100 1937 .... 57 43 .. 100 Totals .. 36 63 1 100 Commercial Vehicles. 1927 .. .. j 14 86 .. 100 1928 .. .. 1 16 84 .. 100 1929 .. .. 14 86 100 1930 .. .. 9 91 .. 100 1931 .. .. 11 89 .. 100 1932 .... 22 78 .. 100 1933 .. ..37 63 .. 100 1934 .. .. 39 61 .. 100 1935 .. .. 31 69 .. 100 1936 .. .. 29 71 .. 100 1937 .... 28 72 .. 100 Totals .. 23 77 .. 100 Motor-cycles. 1927 .. .. 70 30 .. ' 100 1928 .. .. 76 24 .. 100 1929 .. .. 80 20 .. 100 1930 .. .. 81 19 .. 100 1931 .. .. 82 ! 18 .. 100 1932 .. .. 76 24 .. 100 1933 .... 73 26 1 100 1934 .... 73 26 1 100 1935 .... 75 24 1 100 1936 .... 78 20 2 100 1937 .. .. 86 14 .. 100 Totals 77 22 1 100

H. 40

(c) Motor-vehicles licensed as at 31st March, 1937. The appended figures show the number of motor-vehicles licensed for the year 1936-37 as at 31st March, 1937 (the licensing year expires on 31st May each year) :—

Table No. 1 of the Appendix shows the number of motor-vehicles registered as at 31st December, 1936, grouped according to highway districts. The number of motor-vehicles licensed as at 31st March, 1937, classified according to postal districts, are set out in Table 2. Table No. 3 of the Appendix sets out the number of motor-vehicles licensed each year since 1925. Since the system of registration was instituted there have been several changes, both in definition and in method of classification. An additional complication has been introduced by the fact that whereas since 1932 the number of vehicles " licensed " has been recorded, previously the number of vehicles " registered " was recorded. It is necessary to appreciate the distinction between these terms. When a new vehicle arrives it is registered by the owner and simultaneously is licensed for one year or lesser period. If the license is not renewed the next year the vehicle is classified as a " dormant registration." After a registration has been dormant for two years it is cancelled. If the vehicle is subsequently relicensed it is registered afresh as a new vehicle. Prior to 1932 the number of vehicles licensed was obtained by subtracting from the total registrations the number of dormant registrations. This method was not sound, however, because the date upon which the dormant registrations were totalled did not coincide with that on which the total registrations were ascertained. It has been found necessary to endeavour to arrive at a common basis whereby the growth of the motor-vehicle in New Zealand might be measured from year to year. Table No. 3 shows the result of this effort, but attention is directed to the fact that, owing to the differences of definition and classification, the figures other than the yearly totals cannot be taken as strictly comparable. This table shows the figures as at 31st December each year. The figures for trailers have been excluded from the totals. The chief feature of the table is the steady growth in the numbers of mot or-vehicles in this country, interrupted temporarily during the depression years. The number of " dorman; " registrations—i.e., vehicles which although registered had not been licensed for the current year—as at 31st March, 1937, were as under :—

8

Type of Vehicle. North Island. South Island, j Ne " r^ land Cars .. .. .. .. .. .. 111,869 58,135 170,004 Light tracks (2 tons and under laden) .. .. 17,386 8,903 26,289 Heavy tracks (over 2 tons laden) .. .. .. 12,927 6,333 19,260 Passenger trucks .. .. .. .. .. 790 344 1,134 Omnibuses .. .. .. .. .. 445 174 619 Taxis .. .. .. .. .. .. 1,133 564 1,697 Service cars .. .. .. .. .. 419 284 703 Rental and private-hire cars . . . . .. 346 224 570 Dealers' cars .. .. .. .. .. 1,103 482 1,585 Local-authority road vehicles .. .. .. 1,156 921 2,077 Government vehicles .. .. .. .. 1,450 569 2,019 Trailers .. .. .. .. .. .. 2,807 2,637 5,444 Dealers' motor-cycles .. .. .. .. 96 50 146 Motor-cycles .. .. .. .. .. 15,082 9,119 24,201 Totals .. .. .. .. .. 167,009 88,739 255,748

J gg» I Ag, | Cars .. .. .. .. .. .. 3,067 4,808 7,875 Light trucks (2 tons and under laden) .. .. 2,077 3,054 5,131 Heavy trucks (over 2 tons laden) .. .. .. 880 1,332 2,212 Service cars .. .. .. .. .. 23 37 60 Taxis . . .. . . . . . . ., 31 41 72 Rental and private-hire cars .. .. .. 12 25 37 Contract vehicles and passenger trucks .... 27 49 76 Omnibuses .. .. .. .. .. 15 17 32 Traction-engines .. .. .. 41 74 115 Trailers .. .. .. .. .. .. 508 795 1,303 Tractors .. .. .. .. .. 73 216 289 Motor-cycles .. .. .. .. .. 2,771 4,075 6,846 Other motor-vehicles .. .. .. . . 15 47 62 Totals .. .. .. .. 9,540 14,570 24,110

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Section 10 of the Motor-vehicles Amendment Act, 1927, provides that after a registration has remained " dormant " for two complete } 7 ears it is to be cancelled. The following sets out the 1933-34 registrations cancelled on Ist June, 1936, in accordance with this section

(d) Motor-vehicle Registration Plates. The following classes of number-plates were assigned during the licensing year 1936-37 : — (1) For private cars, plates without initial letter from 1001 onwards, the highest number manufactured being 185,000. (2) For " private-hire " and " rental " cars, plates without letter 1-999, inclusive. (3) Special plates for issuance to cycles. (4) Plates with initial letter " D " (both car and cycle) for dealers' vehicles. (5) Plates with initial letter " E " for vehicles exempted from payment of annual license fees. (6) Plates with the prefix " Govt." for vehicles owned by Government Departments. (7) Plates with initial letter " H " for heavy trucks. (8) Plates with initial letter " L " for light trucks. (9) Plates with initial letter " P " for omnibuses. (10) Plates with initial letter " R " for trailers. (11) Plates with initial letter " S " for service cars. (12) Plates with initial letter " T " for taxis. (13) Plates with initial letter " V " for passenger trucks and " contract " motor-vehicles. (e) Vehicles actually on the Road. The number of vehicles licensed on the register kept in accord with the provisions of the Motorvehicles Act, 1924, may be taken as a reasonable indication of the number of vehicles actually on the road. The number of vehicles licensed have been estimated from month to month, and the averages for the years ending on the 31st March, 1934, to the 31st March, 1937, are given hereunder : -

2—lt. 40,

9

Type of Vehicle. Number. Cars .. .. . • • • • • • ■ 2,808 Light trucks .. .. • • • • • • 1 > 700 Heavy trucks .. .. .. • • • • 715 Service cars .. .. • • • • • • 42 Taxis .. .. .. • • • • • • 21 Passenger trucks Rental and private-hire cars .. .. .. 1 Motor-buses .. . • • • • • • • 15 Traction-engines .. .. . • • • • • 33 Trailers .. .. . • , • • • • • • 472 Tractors .. .. .. • • • • • • HO Motor-cycles .. .. • • • • • • 2,523 Other vehicles .. .. . • • • • • 26 Total 8,466

Averages. Class of Vehicle. ~ ; 1934. 1935. 1936. 1937. Number. Number. Number. Number. Cars .. .. •• •• •• 117,867 124,204 135,220 152,819 Trucks, light, up to 2 tons laden .. .. 17,643 19,840 21,281 23,499 Trucks, heavy, over 2 tons laden .. .. 13,708 14,394 15,539 17,310 Omnibus .. .. • • • • • • 518 511 531 575 Taxis .. .. •• •• •• 1,493 1,518 1,627 1,659 Rental cars .. • • • • • • 131 215 333 474 Service cars .. .. • • • • 965 735 670 656 Dealers'cars .. •• 853 1,003 1,221 1,475 Local-body road vehicles .. .. .. 1,147 1,198- 1,430 1,762 Government vehicles .. .. •• 1,378 1,444 1,546 1,806 Dealers' motor-cycles .. .. • • 127 123 128 133 Motor-cycles 21,113 21,063 20,602 20,631 Trailers 2,400 2,107 2,894 3,796 Passenger trucks .. .. . ■ ■ • * 628 795 977 Totals .. •• •• 179,343 188,983 203,817 227,572 ■ 1 I * Included under other headings for 1933-34.

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There has been an increase in the number of all classes of motor-vehicles on the road excepting motor-cycles and service cars, which have remained practically stationary. Motor-cars on the road show a 13-per-cent. increase on 1935-36, while trucks have increased by 11 per cent. It is interesting to note that the total number of vehicles in use has increased by 27 per cent, since 1933-34. (/) Petrol Consumption. The following table shows a classification of the manner in which petrol was consumed in the Dominion during the last nine calendar years : —

The total gallons are calculated from the quantity of motor-spirits on which petrol-tax was paid. A tremendous increase in motor-vehicle petrol-consumption took place in 1936 as compared with 1935, and the previous peak year 1930. The figures show a 9,300,000-gallon increase on the previous year. 4. MOTOR-SPIRITS TAXATION ACT, 1927. The following data show the yield from and distribution of petrol-tax plus surtax on foreign petrol imports since the inception of the tax in 1928.

(a) Yield.

10

Consumption of Petrol. Calendar Year. B Motor-vehicles Other-i.e Engines, (i.e., Petrol on which Aeroplanes &c. (Petrol all Duty was paid). onwh lc h Refunds of r JJuty were made). Gallons. Gallons. Gallons. 1928 .. .. .. .. 41,457,150 2,057,940* 43,515,090* 1929 .. .. .. .. 56,575,840 3,650,040 60,225,880 1930 .. .. .. .. 62,821,479 3,907,900 66,729,379 1931 .. .. .. .. 55,202,983 5,286,000 60,488,983 1932 .. .. .. .. 49,861,976 5,495,479 55,357,455 1933 .. .. .. .. 51,293,572 5,400,000t 56,693,572 1934 .. .. .. .. 55,991,831 6,100,000f 62,091,831 1935 .. .. .. .. 62,807,535 6,483,6001 69,291,135 1936 .. .. .. .. 72,107,051 6,685,600f 78,792,651 * Excludes an unknown amount of petrol on which duty was not paid. f Estimated.

Expenses of Year ended 31st March, Gross Yield. Refunds. Net Yield. Collection -r, and Refund. ' Glance. £ £ £ £ £ 1928 148,202 ' 32 148,170 1,710 146,460* 1929 .. .. .. 867,794 49,105 818,689 8,303 810,386 1930 .. .. .. 1,063,811 67,296 996,515 12.633 983,882 1931 1,480,517 100,978 1,379,539 16,335 l,363,204f 1932 1,817,893 137,585 1,680,308 20,360 1,659,948} 1933 .. .. .. 2,018,449 132,421 1,886,028 20,266 1,865,762§ 1934 2,520,825 148,984 2,371,841 20,283 2,351,558 1935 .. .. .. 2,773,372 159,978 2,613,394 20,180 2,593,214 1936 .. .. .. 3,082,862 165,389 2,917,473 21,271 2,896,202 1937 .. .. .. 3,557,070 166,426 3,390,644 20,596 3,370,048 Total up to 31st March, 19,330,795 1,128,194 18,202,60] 161,937 18,040,664 1937 * Part year only. f increase from 4d. to 6d. per gallon as from 22nd July, 1930. J Increase from 6d. to 8d. per gallon as from 7th October, 1931. § Increase from 8d. to lOd. per gallon as from 9th February, 1933.

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(b) Distribution.

N.B. —The distribution of petrol-tax amongst boroughs in accordance with section 9 (1) (b) of the Motor-spirits Taxation Act, 1927, for the year ended 31st March, 1937, together with cumulative figures showing the total distribution from the inception of the petrol-tax up to the 31st March, 1937, is given in Table No, 4 in the Appendix. (c) Refunds of Petrol-tax. Refunding of Duty on Motor-spirits. In last year's report attention was drawn to the fact that the number of claims for refunds of duty on motor-spirits had a rising tendency each year. The position was reversed during the year 1936 as 3,105 less claims were authorized for payment. Notwithstanding this decrease the value of the refunds made increased by £12,506. The increase in the amount refunded is attributed to the large claims for refunds made by owners of aircraft and to the increased use of tractors on. farms. The decline in the number of claims is due to a considerable number of farmers installing electric power to operate their milking-machinery plants and to the increased use of high-compression engines using oil fuel. The numbers of claims handled and the total amount refunded during the period 1928-36 are set out hereunder :—

The particulars of the claims paid during each of the quarterly periods in 1936 are as follows

Daring the calendar year 1936, 2,938 claims were made during the second month following the close of the respective quarterly periods, and they were subject to a reduction of 10 per cent, in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of the Finance Act, 1933 (No. 2). Refunds are made at the rate of 6d. per gallon on all motor-spirits consumed for purposes other than as fuel for motor-vehicles in respect of which annual license fees are payable. Section 13 of the Customs Acts Amendment Act, 1934, authorizes an additional refund of 2d. per gallon to be made on motor-spirits consumed in aircraft and in vessels used exclusively in the fishing industry for commercial purposes.

11

Year ended 31st March, JConsolidated Fund. Ma Authorities. Total. £ £ £ £ 1928 .. 4,654 130,461 11,345 146,460 1929 .. 16,458 730,414 63,514 810,386 1930 . . .. 34,567 873,370 75,945 983,882 1931 .. 63,154 1,219,209 80,841 1,363,204 1932 .. .. 321,685 1,231,202 107,061 1,659,948 1933 1,122,147 644,126 99,489 1,865,762 1934 .. .. .. 1,579,962 669,868 101,728 2,351,558 1935 .. .. 1,510,338 970,506 112,370 2,593,214 1936 .. .. .. 1,321,066 1,449,125 126,011 2,896,202 1937 .. .. .. 1,524,459 1,697,942 147,647 3,370,048 Total 7,498,490 9,616,223 925,951 18,040,664

Year. Number of Claims. Amount refunded. £ 1928 11,101 34,299 1929 .. •• •• 19,814 60,834 1930 .. •• •• 25,797 83,741 1931 37,116 132,150 1932 45,986 137,387 1933 .. .. .. 49,265 138,194 1934 .. .. .. 52,718 155,714 1935 .. .... .. 55,447 163,884 1936 .. 52,342 176,390

Quarter. I Number of Claims. Amount refunded. £ s. d. March .. .. 14,481 47,083 9 11 June 13,974 50,201 4 2 September .. .. •• •• 11,618 40,086 14 0 December.. .. .. •• •• 12,269 39,018 12 6

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The motor-spirit concerned in the foregoing refunds was consumed as under :—

5. SPECIAL MILEAGE-TAXATION. Mileage-tax is payable by owners of most vehicles which are not propelled exclusively by means of motor-spirits. The tax is also payable by owners of self-propelled well-boring, aircompressor, saw-bench, and crane plants, the owners of which are, in effect, exempted by the provisions of the Motor-vehicles (Special Types) Regulations, 1935, from the payment of all other forms of motor-vehicle taxation. The owners of the last-mentioned vehicles are entitled to claim refunds of duty on all of the motor-spirits consumed in operating their contrivances. As the result of the amending legislation the number of vehicles subject to the tax has increased from 142 to 198. The figures for the last four years are as follows : —•

6. ROAD FINANCE. (a) Dominion's Road Bill, 1934-36. The Department has investigated the numerous statistical data available from official sources and has analysed and classified them in order to show approximately what the roads, streets, and bridges are costing under the headings of construction, maintenance, and loan charges. The figures which have been analysed relate to the three years ended 31st March, 1936. The classification of the roads into main highways, urban roads and streets, and other roads has been carried out, as each class of road or street has differing problems attached to it. This classification has involved a certain amount of estimation, as also have certain aspects of the figures for the whole road bill. Any estimations have been made on a conservative basis, and the figures are sufficiently close to actual fact to form a basis for reliable broad conclusions. Attention is directed to the fact that certain adjustments have been made to the figures published in previous reports.

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How consumed. Gallons. Percentage of Total. Motor-vehicle (farm tractor, mule, &c.) .. .. 2,052,600 »30-7 Milking-machinery .. .. .. .. 1,520,000 22-7 Fishing and other vessels .. .. .. 850,000 12-7 Miscellaneous stationary machinery .. .. 825,000 12-3 Local-authority and other road vehicles .. 638,000 9-5 Lighting and heating plants .. .. .. 220,000 3-3 Manufacturing, cleaning, scientific, &c. .. 190,000 2-8 Shearing-machinery .. .. .. .. 130,000 2-0 Aircraft .. .. .. .. .. 260,000 4-0 Total .. .. .. 6,685,600 100-0

Year ended 31st March, | Revenue. £ 1934 .. .. .. .. 269 1,597 1935 .. .. .. .. 96 1,629 1936 .. .. .. .. 142 1,813 1937 .. .. .. 198 4,159 Total .. .. .. 9,198

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The following table shows the expenditure under the various headings for the three years ended 31st March, 1936 : —

The principal points emerging from the figures for the years ended 31st March, 1935, have been commented upon in previous annual reports. The figures for 1935-36, as compared with those of the previous year, are commented on below (1) Maintenance. (a) Main Highways. —Expenditure on this item during 1935-36 increased by £130,000. The moneys expended by the Main Highways Board on maintenance increased by £90,000, while county expenditure on main highways maintenance out of revenue increased by £40,000. (b) Other Roads. —Expenditure under this head increased by £142,000 due to County Councils increasing their expenditure out of revenue by £106,000 and to the Public Works increasing their expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund. (2) Construction. (a) Main Highways.—This item has increased by £197,000, of which the increase in Main Highways Board expenditure accounts for £146,000 and the increase in County Council payments for the balance, £30,000 being loan-moneys and £15,000 being unemployment-relief expenditure. (b) Urban Roads and Streets—This item has decreased by £40,000, mainly due to a decrease in borough payments on construction out of loan. (c) Other Roads—A decrease of £70,000 is shown under this heading, due largely to a decrease in Public Works Department expenditure by £65,000. Public Works expenditure from the unemployment funds decreased by £137,000, but expenditure from the Public Works Fund increased by £72,000. (3) Loan Charges. The increases under this head have been due to an increase in interest and sinking-fund charges to the rates ruling in 1933-34. (4) Total Road Bill. The following table, showing the percentages of the total expenditure on maintenance, construction, and interest and loan charges, is of interest: —

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I I I _ 1933-34. 1934-35. ' 1935-36. ) Maintenance — £ £ 5 Main highways .. .. •• 954,656 1,501,539 1,632,453 Urban roads and streets .. .. 397,371 392,032 406,775 Other roads .. .. 718,943 955,994 1,098,366 Total .. .. •• 2,070,970 2,849,565 3,137,594 Construction —• Main highways .. .. •• 286,709 428,072 624,943 Urban roads and streets .. .. 1,104,047 944,235 903,918 Other roads .. .. •• 1,240,920 1,172,529 1,102,730 Total .. .. •• 2,631,676 2,544,836 2,631,591 Interest and sinking fund charges — Main highways .. .. •• 632,846 612,129 605,403 Urban roads and streets .. .. 585,900 554,400 580,979 Other roads 1,136,070 1,136,515 1,122,408 Total .. .. •• 2,354,816 2,303,044 2,308,790 Total annual road bill — Main highways .. .. •• 1,874,211 2,541,740 2,862,799 Urban roads and streets .. .. 2,087,318 1,890,667 1,891,672 Other roads 3,095,933 3,265,038 3,323,504 Total .. .. .. 7,057,462 7,697,445 8,077,975

I ! Interest and Loan ' Maintenance. Construction. Charges. Per Cent. Per Cent. Per Cent. 1933-34 .. .. .. ■■ 29-3 37-3 33-4 1934-35 37-0 33-1 29-9 1935-36 .. .. •• 3 8 " 8 32 ' 6 28 ' 6

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(b) Sources of Money expended on Road Bill, 1933-34 to 1935-36. The Department has also analysed the expenditure on roads during the three years ended 31st March, 1936, in order to ascertain the sources from which the money expended has been derived. The following table shows, under five main headings, the sources of revenue expended on (a) main highways, (6) urban roads, (c) other roads, and (d) all types of roads : —

The principal points emerging from the 1935-36 figures as compared with those of previous years are as follows :— (1) Loan-money. This item shows an increase of £305,000 over the previous year's figures and no w represents 14 per cent, of the total money expended. This is still in marked contrast to the year 1930-31, when this item represented almost 30 per cent, of the total. (2) Local Rates. This item has remained practically stationary and is still the chief source of money for expenditure on roads, this year's figure comprising 30-3 per cent, of the total. (3) Unemployment Taxation. The amount expended this year shows a sharp decline, approximately £460,000, and this item now accounts for only 12-5 per cent, of the total. (4) General Taxation. This item has remained almost constant. This year's figure represents 14-5 per cent, of the total, compared with 16 per cent, in 1933-34. (5) Motor-taxation. Motor-taxation again shows a substantial increase, this year's figure being £385,000 above that for the previous year. This item comprises 28-7 per cent, of the road bill and is gradually approaching the amount provided by local rates. Whereas the amount expended from local rates in 1930-31 exceeded that from motor-taxation by some £1,200,000, the excess is now only £125,000. Details of the increase in motor-taxation generally are shown in the Appendix of this report.

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— - ™T | 1933-34. ! 1934-35. 1935-36. Main highways— £ £ £ Loan .. .. .. ... 237,469 360,118 549,546 Local rates .. .. .. 431,262 471,851 502,408 Unemployment-taxation .. .. 89,612 280,751 45,638 General taxation .. .. .. 157,257 151,229 157,403 Motor-taxation .. .. .. 958,611 1,277,791 1,607,804 Total .. .. .. 1,874,211 2,541,740 2,862,799 Urban roads— Loan .. .. .. .. 70,291 71,307 118,745 Local rates • .. .. 1,153,032 1,072,108 1,080,048 Unemployment-taxation .. .. 616,278 475,306 384,050 General taxation Motor-taxation .. .. .. 247,717 271,946 308,829 Total .. .. .. 2,087,318 1,890,667 1,891,672 Other roads — Loan .. .. .. .. 381,090 398,371 466,152 Local rates- .. .. .. 734,844 781,010 863,458 Unemployment-taxation .. .. 797,086 714,887 580,000 General taxation .. .. . . 971,955 985,081 1,010,496 Motor-taxation .. .. .. 210,958 385,689 403,398 Total .. .. .. 3,095,933 3,265,038 3,323,504 All roads — Loan .. .. .. .. 688,850 829,796 1,134,443 Local rates .. .. .. 2,319,138 2,324,969 2,445,914 Unemployment-taxation .. .. 1,502,976 1,470,944 1,009,688 General taxation .. .. .. 1,129,212 1,136,310 1,167,899 Motor-taxation .. .. .. 1,417,286 1,935,426 2,320,031 Total .. .. .. 7,057,462 7,697,445 8,077,975

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(6) General. The following table indicates the approximate percentages of the various sources of revenue comprised in the total expenditure on roads during the three years ended 31st March, 1936 : —

(c) Annual Charges per Mile on Roads, Streets, etc., 1934-36. The following table shows the annual expenditure for the three years ended 31st March, 1936, on the various classes of roads, &c., computed per mile of road and/or street: —

Tables Nos. 5 and 6 of the Appendix show the lengths of various classes of roads, streets, and bridges during the years from 1922 to 1936 inclusive. (d) MOTOR - TAXATION. Table No. 7 shows an analysis of the revenue received from the various taxes and fees levied in connection with motor-vehicles, together with comparative figures for the previous eleven years. The total amount for 1936-37 was £5,348,019, the highest figure yet recorded. There has been an increase in every class of revenue, and the increase of £895,568 over the previous year is made up as follows : Customs duties on motor-vehicles and parts, £263,415 ; motor-spirits tax, £473,846 ; tire-tax, £52,585 ; fees and fines under the Motor-vehicles Act, £61,730 ; and other fees and taxes, £43,992. 7. HEAVY MOTOR-VEHICLE REGULATIONS, 1932. (a) Speeds of Heavy Motoe-vehio'les. During the year a conference was called by the Department inviting representatives of roadcontrolling authorities and users of heavy motor-vehicles to discuss proposals for increases in maximum allowable speeds for the various classes of passenger and goods vehicles. It was felt that due to recent improvements in vehicle design, particularly the trend towards general use of low-pressure tyres, roads generally would sustain no greater damage at somewhat higher speeds than was the case when the regulations were formulated in 1932. The higher speeds would also permit of more economic vehicle operation as the speed-limits in existence were in each case much lower than the average speeds for which the modern vehicles are designed.

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Item. 1933-34. 1934-35. 1935-36. Per Cent. Per Cent. Per Cent. Loan 9-8 10-8 14-0 Local rates .. .. 32-9 30-2 30-3 Unemployment taxation .. 21-3 19-1 12-5 General taxation .. .. 16-0 14-8 14-5 Motor-taxation .. .. 20-0 25-1 28-7 Total .. .. 100-0 100-0 100-0

Annual Charges per Mile of Road. ,,, . , Year ended Length of ; Class of Road. 31st March, Formed Roads. > , , , , Maintenance, i TotaL Miles. £ £ £ Main highways .. .. 1934 10,975 87 58 145 1935 11,176 134 55 189 1936 11,649 140 52 192 Urban roads and streets .. 1934 4,086 97 143 240 1935 4,035 97 137 234 1936 4,059 100 ' 143 243 Other roads .. .. 1934 36,010 20 32 52 1935 36,947 26 31 57 1936 36,350 30 31 61 Total, all roads .. 1934 51,071 41 46 87 1935 52,158 55 44 99 1936 52,058 60 44 104

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Following the Department's investigations and the discussions at this conference an amendment to the regulations was effected altering the maximum permissible speeds as follows : —

(i) Passenger-vehicles.

(ii) Goods-vehicles.

These maximum speeds relate only to heavy motor-vehicles which are sprung and equipped with pneumatic tires on all wheels. The speeds permitted solid rubber-tired and metal-tired vehicles and also unsprung vehicles remain unchanged. (6) Limitation of Loads on Roads. A further number of local authorities have now effected the classification of roads under their control, with the result that now there are 54 per cent, of all rural roads classified and 95 per cent, of the main-highway system throughout the rural areas. The mileages are as follows : —

(i) Classification of Rural Roads.

(ii) Classification of Main Highways.

Local authorities generally have adopted Class 111 as the maximum except where the roads are of a high type dustless surface or adjacent to large industrial centres. In many cases the main highways and any other important key roads have been classified in this class and the minor roads left unclassified, except where a light type of construction necessitates a lower weight-limitation than Class 111 provides. For all practical purposes the classification of the main routes traversing an area effectively limits the loading throughout the whole roading system of that area. In addition to road classification which has been newly effected, there has been a review of the position in connection with certain vital links in the roading system where a classification in Class IV or Class V has obtained for a number of years. In some of these cases the roads were found to have been improved and strengthened to an extent warranting an increase in the allowable load-limits, and the classification was accordingly raised to Class 111 or to Class IV. Under the programme of reconstruction on State highways now being actively pursued by the Main Highways Board it

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Maximum Gross Weight. Former Speed-limit. Amended Speed-limit. 2 tons to 4f tons .. .. .. .. 35 m.p.h. 35 m.p.h. 4J tons to 6| tons . . . . .. .. 25 m.p.h. 35 m.p.h. 6| tons to 10 tons .. . . . . .. 20 m.p.h. 30 m.p.h. 10 tons to 15 tons .. . . .. . . 20 m.p.h. 25 m.p.h.

Maximum Gross Weight. Former Speed-limit. Amended Speed-limit. 2 tons to 4| tons .. .. .. .. 25 m.p.h. 30 m.p.h. 4| tons to 6| tons .. .. .. . . 20 m.p.h. 30 m.p.h. 6| tons to 10 tons . . .. .. . . 15 m.p.h. 25 m.p.h. 10 tons to 15 tons . . .. .. . . 15 m.p.h. 20 m.p.h.

R°o^ds d Class IL Class IIL Class IV " Class V " T °fioition SS1 " Miles. Miles. Miles. ! Miles. Miles. Miles. North Island .. .. .. 26,045 182 4,946 8,788 2,730 16,646 South Island .. .. .. 21,805 578 6,257 2,237 275 9,347 Totals .. .. 47,850 760 11,203 11,025 3,005 25,993 i

„.^ ain , Class īr. Class III. Class IV. Class V. Total 9 lassi " Highways. j neation. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. North Island .. .. .. 6,467 98 2,908 3,154 95 6,255 South Island .. .. .. 5,217 450 4,250 138 32 4,870 Totals 11,684 548 7,158 3,292 127 11,125

H.—4o,

seems probable that a Class 111 standard of construction on the arterial routes throughout the Dominion is not far distant. The existing position at present is set out hereunder

(iii) Classification of State Highways (Rural Sections).

It is notable that in areas where road surfaces are comparatively weak, such as North Auckland and the central portion of the North Island, the ruling classification is Class IV, whereas the South» Island, and particularly southwards of Geraldine, a uniform Class 111 now prevails throughout practically the whole main-highways system. It is considered that Class 111 generally provides an economic loading in rural areas, and this is particularly so in the case of multi-axled vehicles which are permitted a gross laden weight of 10 tons. When roads are newly classified it is the usual practice to grant permits enabling vehicles which do not comply with the gross-weight limits to continue in operation for the balance of their useful life. In this way undue hardship, which would otherwise be incurred by the operators, is avoided. On replacement of these vehicles, however, it is most desirable that the new vehicle should comply with the load-restrictions, and in this way complete conformity to the classification would eventually be achieved. The indiscriminate issue of permits or slack enforcement of the classification tends to defeat this whole object, which is the preservation of the road surfaces from the damaging effect of unnecessarily heavy wheel-loads. Strict adherence to the classified limits is now being required, and unless an operator has a permit enabling him to carry excess loads, he is required to observe the prescribed limits as to gross weight. 8. MOTOR-VEHICLES AMENDMENT ACT, 1936. Speed-limits in Built-up Abeas. The Act provides that there should be a uniform speed limit of 30 m.p.h. (i) in all boroughs and town districts except where the Minister excludes any particular streets or roads, and (ii) in any other area approved by the Minister as a closely populated locality for this purpose. It has been found in numerous cases of boroughs and town districts that the legal boundaries do not constitute the limits of population. In order that the speed-restriction may not be unnecessarily or unreasonably applied in such instances, inspections have been carried out with a view to recommending adjustments to the commencing-points of the speed-limits, where necessary, and in a number of instances the outlying sections of the more important roads entering the towns have been excluded from the provision as to speed. There is still a great deal of work to be done in this connection in various parts of the Dominion, and this is being carried out as expeditiously as possible. It is desired that the 30 m.p.h. limit should be scrupulously observed, and the first step towards ensuring this is obviously the application of the restriction only where its observance should be reasonably expected. Numerous requests have been made by rural local authorities for the application of a speed-restriction of 30 m.p.h. through various townships and settlements in their districts. In some instances these localities have been restricted accordingly, but in the case of a considerable proportion of the applications it has been deemed more effective to rely instead upon general safe driving requirements and to draw attention to any possible hazard due to local pedestrian or other traffic by the erection of suitably placed and appropriately worded cautionary signs. 9. TRAFFIC CENSUS. Following the first comprehensive traffic census taken in 1934-35, arrangements have been made by the Main Highways Board for a similar census to be conducted during 1937-38. As previously, this census will be confined to the rural main-highway system, and will enable both the general increase in traffic volume to be ascertained, and also the trend of traffic in respect of particular routes. As has already been shown by the first census, the results of these traffic surveys prove invaluable in the design of roads for future traffic requirements, the allocation of funds, and in connection with investigations regarding road safety. Actually, however, the main-highway system, to which the census relates, constitutes less than quarter of the total mileage of formed roads in New Zealand, although they carry a great deal more than that proportion of the total vehicular traffic. No similar data is available concerning other rural roads nor the urban roads and streets.

3—H. 40.

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— Highways. Class IL Class ĪIL j ClassIV " j Cla8S V " Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. Miles. North Island .. .. •• 2,112 27 1,115 | 950 .. 2,092 South Island 1,629 89 1,485 j .. .. 1,574 Totals 3,741 116 2,600 j 950 .. 3,666

H.—4o,

10. ROAD SAFETY. During the past year road safety has been the most important feature of the Department's activities. Regulations have been passed controlling driving-hours in the road-transport industry both under the Transport Licensing Act and the Motor-vehicles Act, and safety measures have been incorporated in the Motor-vehicles Amendment Act, 1936. The Traffic Regulations have been revised and their scope widened, whilst a Council to act in an advisory capacity in all aspects of road safety has been set up. " In the following sections the various measures taken in the campaign are set out. A.—ROAD-ACCIDENT STATISTICS. Against the year ended 31st March, 1937, are recorded 213 deaths resulting from motor accidents. Statistics relating to these, compiled from the reports of Coroners' proceedings, are set out in Table No. 14 of the Appendix, and are compared in this table with the figures for the preceding years since 1930. 6 J

Annual Fatalities & Relative Traffic Volume. 1930-1937 Index Nos. Base Year 1980-100.

comparison of the fatality rate year by year is perhaps more forcibly illustrated by the graph below. This graph compares the annual fatalities with the volume of motor traffic on the roads during this period of eight years. In each case the year ended 31st- March, 1930, is taken as the base year. The estimated traffic volume is based upon petrol consumption figures. In order to attempt to gauge the effect so far of the intensive road-safety campaign, which commenced m September, 1936, a further graph is presented showing the actual number of fatalities month by month from September, 1935, to March, 1937. On comparison of similar periods before and after September of last year it is seen that the average number of deaths per month has dropped from 18-9 to 14-7, a reduction of 22 per cent.

18

H,— 4o.

Monthly Fatalit ies September 1935-March 1937

19

H.—4o,

The main features which appear.from a study of the statistics given in Table 14 are :— (i) The total number of accidents show an increase of twelve over the previous year, this increase being made up largely of collisions between motor-vehicles. A slight decrease has occurred in respect of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. (ii) Over half the accidents occurred at night or during dusk, indicating that lack of adequate seeing ability is a vital factor, as during this period of the twenty-four hours there is only about one-fifth of the volume of traffic which is carried during daylight hours. (iii) There were eleven railway-crossing smashes where some one was killed, "the highest annual total yet recorded. (iv) 59 per cent, of the fatal accidents occurred on country roads and 41 per cent, in the urban areas. (v) Although the actual number of pedestrians killed has not increased, they still represent over one-quarter of the fatalities caused through motor-vehicle accidents. (vi) Motor-cycles, although representing only 9f per cent, of the vehicles on the road, constituted 19f per cent, of the vehicles involved in fatal accidents. (vii) The most common breaches of the law leading to fatal accidents were— (a) Driver's intoxication, either mild or severe ; (b) On incorrect side of road ; (c) Failure to comply with the offside rule ; (d) Excessive speed under the circumstances ; (e) Various vehicular defects such as glaring or ineffective lights and faulty brakes. (viii) Pedestrians were at fault in a considerable number of instances. As a result of the recommendations made by the New Zealand Road Safety Council, arrangements were finalized towards the end of the year under review whereby far more comprehensive data is now obtained regarding road accidents. Formerly all particulars obtained have been in respect of fatal accidents only, but by arrangement with the Police Department a report is now received concerning each accident where there is "injury to person. All such accidents are required by law to be reported by the motorist at the nearest police-station. A police officer investigates the circum stances and in the course of these duties prepares a report on a standard form designed for these statistical purposes. From these reports, covering at present some three hundred accidents each month, the Department compiles a number of very useful analyses which are being utilized as the prime basis for determining the preventive measures to be taken, and gauging the efficacy of these various measures. While the statistics do not cover the whole field of motor accidents, they relate to a definite class of accident and may thus be used as a basis for comparison. Some of the main immediate purposes to which these statistics are put are : — (i) A basis for publicity, in conjunction with periodical statements regarding the toll of the road and the remedial measures being taken. (ii) The main breaches of the law which commonly lead to accidents are revealed and the Government traffic staff and local traffic authorities are advised accordingly. (iii) Accident spot maps are prepared showing localities where accidents are frequent. (iv) Instances are investigated where it seems evident or possible that some faulty road condition contributed to the accident, and where considered necessary the condition is brought to the notice of the road-controlling authority. B.—NEW ZEALAND ROAD SAFETY COUNCIL. During August, 1936, the Government's concern at the rising toll of the road led the Minister of Transport to call a conference of all interested sections of the public. The two major results of the conference were the endorsement of a proposal for traffic control to be taken over by the Government for all districts save in boroughs of over 6,000 population, and the recommendation that a Road Safety Council be set up to advise the Minister of Transport on matters relating to road-safety measures. The conference suggested that the Minister of Transport select the personnel of the Road Safety Council. After consultation with the interested bodies, the Council was appointed by the Minister as follows :— Hon. R. Semple, Minister of Transport (Chairman). Mr. G. L. Laurenson, Commissioner of Transport (Deputy Chairman). Dr. G. F. V. Anson, British Medical Association. Mr. G. R. Ashbridge, New Zealand Educational Institute. Mr. J. F. Cousins, New Zealand Motor Traders' Federation. Mr. D. J. Cummings, Commissioner of Police. Mr. J. S. Hawke, South Island Motor Union. Mr. J. H. Jerram, State Fire and Accident Office. Mr. M. F. Luckie, Municipalities. Dr. J. W. Mcllraith, Education Department. Mr. W. A. O'Callaghan, North Island Motor Union. Mr. F. C. Spratt, New Zealand Alliance. Mr. C. J. Talbot, Counties Association. Mr. J. Wood, Main Highways Board.

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H-40 TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT (ANNUAL REPORT OF)., Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1 January 1937

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H-40 TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT (ANNUAL REPORT OF). Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1 January 1937

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