Dangerous intersections named
State Highway 3 north of New Plymouth has three of the country's most dangerous intersections within a 15 kilometre stretch of road.
The New Zealand Transport Agency worked with local authorities to identify New Zealand's riskiest intersections and target them for safety improvements.
A list of the 100 worst was released yesterday and includes the SH3 intersections with Mangati Rd, ranked 8th, Princess St, ranked 18th, and Raleigh St, ranked 64.
Nationally the intersections have claimed 53 lives and accounted for 445 serious injuries, between 2003 and 2012 while there had been 13 serious injuries and one fatal crash at the SH3 intersections.
Changes have already been made at two of the intersections with right turns out of Mangati Rd banned in August 2012 and a temporary 80kmh speed limit imposed at the Princess St site in January 2013.
Planning was under way to make changes at the Raleigh St intersection.
Taranaki area commander Inspector Blair Telford said he was pleased steps had already been taken to improve safety at the intersections.
"It's a notorious stretch of highway and this latest report highlights that," Mr Telford said.
"It's good that they have been identified and it's good that steps have been put in place and let's hope that they are effective and they do reduce the harm at these intersections."
In December 2013 a temporary speed limit of 80kmh was also introduced along the highway from Mangati Rd to Mahoetahi Rd, near Brixton, and the two passing lanes along the route shut in an effort to further reduce the high crash rate.
Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse said the list had been compiled by using guidelines developed in 2013 to provide a nationally consistent method of assessing crash data to identify intersection crash risks.
"We're making good progress in reducing the road toll, but there is no room for complacency," Mr Woodhouse said.
"The government has been pushing ahead with safety improvements while the list was in draft form, and it's pleasing to see 22 of these intersections have already had safety improvements completed, with planning or investigation at various stages for the remaining 78."
NZ Transport Agency regional highways manager David McGonigal said improving the safety of State Highway 3 has been one of the agency's strongest focuses lately in Taranaki.
"We will be monitoring crash rates closely to ensure that recent safety measures are effective, and to help us identify any other improvements that can make journeys safer along this busy and important stretch of highway.
"We remain concerned about the crash rates and we are keeping our mind open about further improvements.
"Road safety is a shared responsibility, and we're working hard to improve the safety of intersections, but to do that we also need drivers to make the right choices, keep to safe speeds and stay alert at intersections."
Ernst Zollner, NZTA road safety director, said the work was part of the Government's Safer Journeys Action Plan, and the list of high-risk intersections would be updated regularly to ensure that safety improvements continue to be targeted to reduce crashes, save lives and prevent injuries.
10 WORST INTERSECTIONS
1 Auckland Glenbrook Rd and Kingseat Rd
2 Taupo district (NZTA) SH1 (Thermal Explorer Highway) and Poihipi Rd
3 Taupo district (NZTA) SH5 (Napier Taupo road) and Arrowsmith Ave
4 Rotorua district (NZTA) SH30 (Hemo Rd) and SH5 (Old Taupo road)
5 Napier city (NZTA) SH2 and (Main North Rd) SH2B (Napier Hastings Expressway)
6 Auckland Waiuku Rd and Attewell Rd
7 Auckland Great North Rd and Bullock Track
8 New Plymouth District (NZTA) SH3 (Devon Rd) and Mangati Rd
9 Waikato district (NZTA) SH1B (Telephone Rd) and Holland Rd
10 Auckland Tamaki Drive and Ngapipi Rd
Taranaki Daily News