Fixing roading blackspots, passing lanes and dangerous corners are priorities in the Government's newly announced $16.9b land transport investment.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford said Labour would deliver a "safer and better connected system" that would reduce the number of "friends and family" killed on New Zealand roads.
"This record investment in our transport system will help grow our regions, make it easier to get around our cities, and save lives on our roads," he said.
"It will deliver the best results for our transport dollar."
A total of $4.3b will be spent on programmes and projects "that will save lives by preventing accidents or reducing their severity".
Blackspots, high risk intersections, safe level crossings, passing lanes and anti-skid surfaces would be a focus.
"This will include revamping intersections to stop collisions, installing median barriers in high-risk areas, and increasing road policing," he said.
Roads receiving safety upgrades will include Dome Valley, Drury to Paerata, Waihi to Tauranga, and the Hawke's Bay Expressway.
The planned investments are detailed in the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), published today by the NZ Transport Agency.
Twyford said the regions would also receive a much needed boost.
"Most roading investment will go to the regions, rather than the big cities. This reverses the situation in the last three years."
Regional roads would receive $5.8b of funding - a $600m increase.
Nearly $4b would be spent on public transport, rapid transit, and rail services to ease congestion and make the cities healthier places to live.
There would be renewal work to Wellington's rail tracks and more options such as Auckland's SkyPath and Seapath walk/cycleways, and a new commuter ferry service in Queenstown.
State highways receive the largest share of funding, with a total of $5.7b.
Work would include $3.5b in new state highway projects such as Puhoi to Warkworth, the Waikato Expressway, the Mt Messenger bypass, the Manawatu Gorge replacement, Wellington's Transmission Gully, and the Christchurch Southern Motorway.