Targeted safety improvements designed to reduce the risk of crashes have been installed on a high-risk part of State Highway 37 in the Waitomo District.
The $1.5 million project is the first of the Government’s $600 million Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme to be delivered.
“This is one of the 90 most high-risk rural roads in New Zealand with one death and six serious injury crashes over the past decade,” said Transport Minister Simon Bridges. “A number of safety improvements have been made which mean people can now expect a safer journey.”
The changes include side barriers to stop drivers running off the road and improved signage and road markings to alert drivers to upcoming corners.
“Sections of the highway have also been widened so that drivers who do lose control on corners have more time to recover, and a new footpath linking key tourist spots has been built to improve safety for pedestrians,” said Bridges.
It is hoped the improvements will make the road more forgiving of human error, helping to reduce the number of crashes in the first place and limiting the severity of any that occur.
The Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme will see safety improvements made to approximately 90 high-risk sites on rural State Highways in 14 regions across New Zealand.
“Up to $100 million will be invested annually in the programme over six years – $60 million more than is usually invested each year in road safety improvements,” said Bridges.
For further information on the Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme: www.nzta.govt.nz/saferoadsalliance