Intersection included in worst 100

NEIL RATLEY AND FAIRFAX
Last updated 05:00 27/03/2014

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A Southland intersection has been named as one of New Zealand's 100 worst.

The intersection of State Highway 1 and Kennington Rd, just north of Invercargill was rated at number 71 on the list compiled by the NZ Transport Agency and local government agencies.

In the past 10 years, 20 crashes have been recorded at the intersection on the Woodlands Invercargill Highway, with four involving serious injury.

NZ Transport Agency spokesman Bob Nettleton said work had been recently completed at the intersection after it was identified as a black spot. In September, the agency spent $250,000 on electronic speed warning signs to help improve safety at the intersection.

Now when a vehicle on Kennington Rd approached the intersection with State Highway 1, the electronic signs on the highway located about 150m each side of the intersection, display a 70kmh speed limit.

Highway traffic has to slow to this speed reducing the impact speed if there is a collision.

In 2012 figures from the NZ Transport Agency showed crashes at the 12 worst intersections in Invercargill had a social cost of $22.99 million, in the five years between 2007 and 2011.

At the time, Road Safety Southland safety adviser Jane Ballantyne said the city's intersection crash rate was the worst in the country.

Crashes at Invercargill intersections had come down since then and the city no longer had the worst crash rate, Mrs Ballantyne said yesterday.

However intersections were still the site for the majority of crashes in the city, she said.

Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse said between them, the top 100 intersections had claimed 53 deaths and accounted for 445 serious injuries between 2003 and 2012.

Twenty-two of the intersections had already had safety improvements completed, with planning or investigation at various stages for the remaining 78, he said.

"It's great to see these agencies working together to achieve tangible results that will reduce crashes, prevent injuries and save lives."

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- The Southland Times

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