More crashes in town

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 08/07/2014

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Statistics show that if you are going to crash your car in South Canterbury, it is likely to happen in town.

However if you are going to sustain a serious injury or die as a result of a car crash, it will likely be on country roads.

South Canterbury road safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude said the old adage "the faster you go the bigger the mess" rang true.

"You are more at risk of serious injuries or fatalities on the rural roads because you are going faster," he said.

The most common crash location in Timaru is at the intersection of Wai-iti Rd and State Highway 1. Twenty have taken place there in the past five years.

The Evans St and Grasmere St, and North St and Craigie Ave intersections were the next-highest, with 15 crashes at each.

The most serious injuries and fatalities occurred on SH1.

However the intersection of SH82 and Elephant Hill Rd in the Waimate District had the most fatalities in the past five years.

There was three intersections with equal numbers of serious injuries as a result of car crashes - Wilks Rd and Geraldine-Winchester Highway, Waimate Hunter Rd and Hook School Rd, and SH8 and SH80.

Naude said the conditions on rural roads differed.

"On some roads, if you go half the limit it's still too fast," he said.

It was an ongoing issue to promote driver awareness, especially with older, more "experienced" drivers. "The challenge [in this age group] is breaking some of these beliefs: I can handle alcohol or I can handle a car at speed," Naude said.

He said it had been particularly noticeable that in the past year more crashes were happening in the 50-plus age group.

He expected that was just the beginning of a trend.

Naude believed the solution was education and training.

He said most people had to have a bad experience before they learnt to drive in altered conditions.

He advocated increased supervision for driver experience.

CRASH SPOTS

South Canterbury's worst crash intersections (since 2009)

SH1-Wai-iti Rd 20 crashes

Evans St-Grasmere St 15 crashes

North St-SH1 15 crashes

SH1-Hobbs St 14 crashes

SH1-Ranui Ave 13 crashes

SH1-Te Weka St 12 crashes

SH1-Newman St 12 crashes

SH1-Sophia St 12 crashes

SH1-SH 79 11 crashes

Woodlands Rd-North St 9 crashes

SH1-Otipua Rd 9 crashes

SH1-Pringle St 9 crashes

SH1-Trafalgar St 9 crashes

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- The Timaru Herald

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