Family's car flips on roadworks

JOHN ANTHONY AND MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012

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An Auckland family of four flipped their car on roadworks near Tongaporutu just hours after an NZ Transport Agency advisory to get ready for a surge in roading repairs in Taranaki.

Constable Daniel Walter, of Mokau, said the two adults and two children suffered only minor injuries when their car flipped onto its left side after they lost control on a stretch of roadworks on State Highway 3 on Friday night.

According to the driver, as they headed south an oncoming car flicked a stone into the windscreen, causing them to flinch and lose control, Mr Walter said.

The family were taken to Taranaki Base Hospital as a precaution, he said.

"One of the passengers had minor bumps and bruises but other than that they were relatively unscathed," Mr Walter said.

With a lot of roadworks on the northern section of SH3, drivers needed to exercise caution and obey temporary speed limits, he said. "Don't get complacent when you see roadworks signs - slow down and obey the speed limit."

The crash came just hours after a transport agency advisory to Taranaki drivers to prepare for a surge in roadworks as crews swooped in to make the most of the warm weather. "We know roadworks can be a bit of a headache for motorists but resealing the roads keeps motorists and their passengers safe on our state highways," agency regional state highways manager David McGonigal said.

"The speed restrictions are there to protect both drivers and the road workers, so please stick to them no matter what - if it says 30, then that's the speed limit. Speed restrictions also help to prevent windscreen damage, which tends to arise from people driving too fast through roadworks sites and flicking up loose chips into other vehicles."

"Even if there is no work happening on site, we ask that people keep their speeds down to let the new surface cure - otherwise it can get ripped up and we'll need to start all over again."

Work on the Midhirst railway overbridge approach begins today and drivers can expect delays of up to 10 minutes for the next two weeks.

Mr McGonigal said $78.3 million was being invested during the next three years on the maintenance, operation and renewal of Taranaki's state highways, 20 per cent more than was spent in the previous three years.

Meanwhile spending on local roads has stagnated with the agency's roading subsidy to New Plymouth District Council frozen for the next three years.

Mayor Harry Duynhoven has said there was no intention of topping up the fund itself.

Council officers have warned to prepare for a deterioration in local roads unless savings can be made.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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