Roadworks speedsters face fines

Intersection drivers 'away with the fairies'

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 08:53 17/07/2014
Aaron Branks
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
SLOW DOWN: Fulton Hogan construction foreman Aaron Branks with a traffic cone that was dragged by a truck, says he can replace cones, but he can’t replace people.

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Drivers who speed through road works in Blenheim are more likely to get busted after police have been forced to ramp up their presence.

On Tuesday, a damaged safety cone was returned to Fulton Hogan road workers.

The cone was found along Middle Renwick Rd, more than 1 kilometre from where staff were working on a $1.3 million project building roundabouts on the Boyce St and Battys Rd intersections.

The speed limit has been lowered from 50kmh to 30kmh while the work is being done, but police and road workers were worried the message hadn't got through.

Fulton Hogan construction foreman Aaron Branks said the cone had been dragged by a truck. The driver hadn't realised it was caught under the wheel.

Speed was a huge safety concern for crews working on the road, Branks said.

"Some people are away with the fairies and don't slow down at all," he said. "I know it's a disruption, but people need to take a bit of caution. I can replace cones, I can't replace people."

Between eight and 25 construction staff were working on the road at any one time, he said.

It wasn't just road workers he worried about, it was the general public.

"If people are dragging cones and not realising it, imagine if that was a kid on a bike," he said.

Battys Rd resident Doug Saul has been working outside cleaning up his front section and often sees drivers ignoring the speed limit.

"Some people don't even slow down," he said.

"They come past pretty quick, screaming their tyres some of them."

Marlborough highway patrol team leader Sergeant Barrie Greenall said drivers just weren't getting the message to slow down.

Speeding drivers were being "purely selfish", he said.

"They're not realising they're driving through someone's place of work," he said.

Police were given all sorts of excuses, a popular one being people didn't see the signs.

"You find out later they live 150m from the road works," he said.

"That's just a lame excuse."

Speeding drivers risked fines of between $30 for driving more than 10kmh over the speed limit, and $630 for driving more than 50kmh over the limit.

Anyone caught driving more than 50kmh over the limit is required to appear in court.

Greenall had talked to at least 12 drivers along Middle Renwick Rd since Tuesday. Only one of them had been from out of town, he said.

Police had handed out six infringement notices to speeding drivers since then.

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- The Marlborough Express

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