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Journal Article


Briggs D, Mason K, Borman B. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015; 13(1): e13010061.


Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.


(Copyright © 2015, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






An integrated environmental health impact assessment of road transport in New Zealand was carried out, using a rapid assessment. The disease and injury burden was assessed from traffic-related accidents, air pollution, noise and physical (in)activity, and impacts attributed back to modal source. In total, road transport was found to be responsible for 650 deaths in 2012 (2.1% of annual mortality): 308 from traffic accidents, 283 as a result of air pollution, and 59 from noise. Together with morbidity, these represent a total burden of disease of 26,610 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). An estimated 40 deaths and 1874 DALYs were avoided through active transport. Cars are responsible for about 52% of attributable deaths, but heavy goods vehicles (6% of vehicle kilometres travelled, vkt) accounted for 21% of deaths. Motorcycles (1 per cent of vkt) are implicated in nearly 8% of deaths. Overall, impacts of traffic-related air pollution and noise are low compared to other developed countries, but road accident rates are high.

RESULTS highlight the need for policies targeted at road accidents, and especially at heavy goods vehicles and motorcycles, along with more general action to reduce the reliance on private road transport. The study also provides a framework for national indicator development.

Language: en


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