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Made up of the NZ Transport Agency and infrastructure consultancies Beca (external link) , Bloxam, Burnett & Olliver (BBO) (external link) and Northern Civil Consulting (NCC) (external link) , Safe Roads will work with stakeholders to deliver timely and tangible improvements to New Zealand roads, helping to reduce deaths and serious injuries. Safe Roads has been established to deliver a programme of road and roadside safety improvements to the State Highway Network over six years.
The Safe Roads and Roadsides programme is one of four components of the Safe System approach (external link) which was introduced to New Zealand through Safer Journeys (external link) , the government’s strategy to guide improvements in road safety over a 10-year period.
The national programme of improvement works is overseen by the team in Hamilton while projects are managed regionally through its partner offices in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei and Christchurch.
Head-on and run-off-road crashes account for 75 percent of fatal and serious injury crashes in New Zealand. Installing wire rope barriers along centrelines and roadsides has been shown to significantly reduce these types of crashes. They work by acting as a net, catching vehicles before they run off the road and hit something less forgiving like a tree or another vehicle. The wire cables flex on impact slowing the vehicle down and pushing it back into its lane.
Something as simple of as widening the centreline on the road to increase the separation of traffic can reduce the likelihood of crashes. Wide centrelines have been shown to reduce centreline crashes by 40 percent by giving fatigued and distracted drivers an extra couple of seconds to regain concentration and correct a mistake before crossing over into the opposing lane.
Rumble strips are a cost effective way to reduce run-off-road and head-on crashes. Applied to centrelines and edge lines, the raised plastic ribs give distracted or fatigues drivers a wake-up call if they stray across the line.
Good signage and road markings create a more readable road so that drivers can see more clearly what is ahead and so will encourage better decisions. Warning signs alert drivers to features that need special care, for example, curves they need to slow down for or clear stop signs at intersections. Better signs and road markings all help to create a safer road environment.
A sealed shoulder provides additional space should a driver need to take evasive action or need to recover control of their vehicle before they run off the road.
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