Boost for road safety in Manawatu - Wanganui

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced short term boost in road safety funding this summer, targeting rural roads in Manawatu - Wanganui and across New Zealand.

Over summer the NZ Transport Agency will roll out an additional $22.5 million worth of low-cost safety improvements on rural State highways across New Zealand. This will include treatments on five different stretches of Manawatu – Wanganui roads, including:

  • SH4: Taumarunui to National Park
  • SH2: Ngawapurua to Manawatu-Wanganui boundary
  • SH4: Tohunga Junction to Whanganui
  • SH3: Whangaehu to Bulls
  • SH1N: Bulls to Foxton

“The number of people losing their lives on our roads has increased every year for the past five years. When things are this bad government has a responsibility to act,” said Ms Genter.

“The Boost Safety Programme is the first step. Improvements will include rumble strips, signage and safety barriers on rural roads where there is a real risk of death and serious injuries.

“Many deaths and injuries can be avoided on these roads by making some relatively simple changes. For example, we know rumble strips can reduce all crashes by around 25 percent and fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 percent.

“Despite what many people think, improving road safety is not just about getting people to drive better. It’s also about making our roads much safer, so that when people make mistakes lives aren’t lost. On too many of our roads a simple error, such as taking a corner too fast or being momentarily distracted, can be fatal.

“That is why the government will be investing more in safety barriers, rumble strips and targeted speed limit changes. Next year, the Government will further increase funding for road safety improvements as we revise the overall transport budget.

“The NZ Transport Agency will also investigate installing activated warning signs at one high-risk rural intersection in Manawatu-Wanganui. These are electronic signs that automatically reduce the speed limit on the main road if a vehicle turns into or out of a side road.

“These signs have already been successfully used around the country to make dangerous intersections safer.

“I’ve  also written to the NZ Transport Agency Board and all local councils to make it clear that setting more appropriate speed limits on high-risk stretches of road will be a priority for this government.

“The Government will hold a road safety summit early next year so that we can hear directly from councils about the barriers to and opportunities for improving road safety,” said Ms Genter.

The NZ Transport Agency will begin engagement with communities on the proposed safety improvements before Christmas, with work starting in February. Consultation on the installation of activated warning signs will get underway in March.

 

More information on the Boost Programme, including a map of proposed works can be found here:

www.nzta.govt.nz/safetyboost

www.nzta.govt.nz/safetyboost/map