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Traffic and Road Safety (TARS) Research Group

Founded in 1993, the Traffic and Road Safety (TARS) Research Group has established an international reputation and is an independent provider of quality research for the Foundation for Science, Transfund, Road Safety Trust, Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ), the New Zealand Police, the ACC, and local and regional road controlling authorities. This makes TARS New Zealand's pre-eminent centre for road safety research.

The TARS Research Group has conducted leading-edge research into truck driver fatigue, distractions produced by cell phones, perceptions of risk, eye movement behaviour, safety at intersections, the design of road worker's safety vests, patterns of driving behaviour in New Zealand, the design of overtaking lanes, the effectiveness of road signs, urban threshold design, and many other topics.

Their research output have ranged from improvements to specific intersections to development of a nation-wide novice driver education and training programme, all of which have saved the lives of New Zealand drivers and contributed to lowering our annual road toll. They have established a state-of-the-art research capability which includes innovative technologies for field study of behaviour as well as the most advanced driving simulator laboratory in New Zealand.

Being an education institute as well as a research provider, one of the key goals is training tomorrow's road safety researchers and their students have gone on to make contributions in New Zealand and overseas. In 2005, TARS won a prestigious Motoring Excellence Award in Road Safety Research from the Automobile Association, New Zealand.




Our thanks to our leading research sponsors and partners:


Associate Professor Samuel Charlton

Deputy Chair, Graduate Student Adviser