Poorly built roads kill innocent motorists

Dogandlemon.com editor, Clive Matthew-Wilson, says the government needs to take action to improve the safety of many “appallingly dangerous” rural roads.

“People die uncessarily because of the way our roads are built. In a typical case, a tired, confused or reckless driver drifts out their lane, then collides with an oncoming vehicle.  How many fatalities and serious accidents does it take for the government to act? With very high traffic volumes on tourist routes, and repeated accidents, surely the commonsense approach is to separate opposing lines of traffic."

Matthew-Wilson adds:

“The government could start installing these barriers next week, but the reason they don’t is that in some places traffic – especially trucks – would be slowed down due to the road being a bit narrower.”

“When the government’s engineers calculate whether or not a road is suitable for a median barrier, they inevitably reject the idea if the road is not unrealistically wide. That’s the reason for the lack of median barriers on most rural roads: the government doesn’t want to slow trucks down.”

“While there will inevitably be some roads that are simply too narrow for median barriers, most roads are suitable, provided the speed limit is lowered.”

A wire rope barrier was installed along a 10km stretch south of Paekakariki in 2005. In the 20 years before it was installed, head-on collisions claimed about 40 lives and around 120 people were seriously injured.

Since the wire rope median barrier was installed, the serious accidents stopped overnight.

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