INDEPENDENT NEWS

Extra Boost for Rural Road Safety

Published: Sun 13 Jan 2019 10:30 AM
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced an extension of the Government’s Safety Boost Programme to prevent deaths and serious injuries on rural New Zealand roads.
The NZ Transport Agency will be investing $20 million to upgrade 670 kilometres of rural State highways across Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui and the West Coast this year.
“The Boost Programme will target 11 rural State highways that might not have high levels of traffic but still have plenty of risks like sharp corners and narrow stretches,” said Julie Anne Genter.
“The Boost Programme includes simple safety upgrades that can be installed quickly over the summer period, such as rumble strips roadside safety barriers in high-risk locations, shoulder widening, and improved signage.
“All drivers make mistakes from time to time. Safety improvements like these stop simple mistakes turning into tragedies.
“Rumble strips can reduce fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 percent. Shoulder widening at high risk sights can reduce serious crashes by up to 35 percent.
“The original Safety Boost Programme made improvements like these in Northland, Taranaki, Manawatū-Wanganui, Otago and Southland. It delivered almost 2000kms of rumble strips, 30km of road safety barriers in higher risk areas, and intersection speed zones at high-risk rural intersections,” said Julie Anne Genter.
This summer’s Safety Boost is part of the $1.4 billion Safe Network Programme (SNP) - a collaborative, prioritised programme of proven safety improvements on high risk routes across New Zealand. The 670 kilometres of road upgrades in the Boost Programme is additional to the 870 kilometres of upgrades to high volume, high-risk State Highways in the SNP.

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