Fergus is widely acknowledged to be a leading expert in road safety in New Zealand, having spent over seven years with the NZ Transport Agency where he was the Lead Safety Advisor for Roads and Roadsides and previously the National Manager Traffic and Safety.
He has applied his expertise to some of the most innovative road safety projects in New Zealand, such as the introduction of the New Zealand Road Assessment Programmes KiwiRAP and road Infrastructure Risk Rating (IRR), as well as Rural Intersection Active Warning Systems (RIAWS) and out of context curves.
Fergus started his career as an Engineering Officer Cadet with the Ministry of Works Porirua, working in the construction survey office before moving into highway maintenance. His boss persuaded him to study for a Bachelor of Engineering and was advised to focus on either highways and transportation or three waters, as there were skill shortages in both. Having a background in road construction and maintenance he went down the transportation line, and went on to complete a Master of Science and PhD in Transport.
For Fergus, the transport sector has provided a huge range of opportunities.
“Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in a range of countries. Working in transportation is rewarding, in many cases you can see things you have worked on come to fruition. Even now my kids know that Dad worked on this or that as we drive down the road.”
Fergus is passionate about accumulating knowledge and then using it to deliver great outcomes, something he says will be needed to overcome the challenges the sector faces.
“The development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) looks set to be the most disruptive technology in transport. However, we cannot simply sit back and wait for this technology to arrive – we need to continue to develop our existing tools and practices to ensure as few people as possible are killed or seriously injured while we prepare for CAV’s, and all that these initiatives will bring to the sector.”