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Crashes on first day at new traffic lights

Last updated 10:38 04/12/2013
Traffic lights
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: The introduction of new traffic lights at the Waimea Rd and Motueka St intersection this morning resulted in three crashes.

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Traffic was stalled at the newly turned on traffic lights at the Waimea Rd and Motueka St intersection yesterday morning after a driver, distracted by road signs, caused a minor crash.

Reports on social media suggest that this incident was followed by at least two more crashes.

Despite the accidents Nelson City Council spokeswoman Angela Ricker said traffic was now flowing well along the new road layout. 

The new lights were switched on at 7pm on Tuesday night. Nelson city councillor Eric Davy, who chairs the works and infrastructure committee, said he was delighted the lights had finally been turned on as it would make the intersection safer, especially with traffic flows in and out of the hospital.

''It's been a long time coming to get those lights in there to make that intersection safer,'' said Mr Davy. 

The intersection was first identified as a serious problem area in 1989. 

A solution in the 1990s had been a no right turn in Motueka St.The lights were due to be turned on at some point yesterday and the switch was flicked after tests were carried out. 

Not all lanes were opened as some work is still being finished on driveways.  All lanes should be open soon and council staff will keep an eye on the transition into the new road design.

The council reminded people to stay attentive while travelling through the new layout.

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