Zero road toll 'achievable'

23:51, May 22 2014

A 50 per cent reduction in deaths on Taranaki roads over five years is good, but it could be better, police say.

There were 923 car crashes in the region in 2009, 16 of which were fatal and 663 last year, seven of which were fatal, according to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

"It's good, but we can do better," New Plymouth Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said.

"Let's aim for a year with no fatalities. I don't see why that's not achievable."

McIntyre said the decreased speed limit between Waitara and Bell Block played a big part in cutting down numbers of serious crashes.

"If you reduce speed you reduce the severity of injuries.


"A lot of those are people pulling out [of intersections] thinking they have time."

He said humans made mistakes and roads should be designed to be forgiving. "There's always going to be an element of human fault but other things like sun strike or turning a sharp corner to quick are factors too.

His advice to motorists was to take their time and enjoy the journey.

Road Transport Association executive officer Tom Cloke said people seemed to be more conscious of speed and were making better decisions on the road.

But like McIntyre he said he would only be pleased when there were no deaths on the country's roads.

"It's heading in the right direction."

Regional Transport Committee chairman Roger Maxwell said high-profile policing campaigns against speeding had helped bring crash numbers down.

The committee yesterday discussed its reservations about the designs of three black spot intersections.

These are the Mangati Rd and SH3, SH3 and 3A and Princes St and SH3 intersections, which need to cater for the growing volume of traffic, Maxwell said.

"That whole stretch of road needs more attention, the speed limit is only part of the solution," he said.

The Government is soon to announce its roading policy which will determine whether enough funding is allocated to provincial areas to continue to improve roads in Taranaki, Maxwell said.

Taranaki Daily News