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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) (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 death and serious injury crashes in New Zealand. Installing flexible road safety barriers along centre-lines and roadsides has been shown to significantly reduce these types of crashes. They work by acting as a net, catching vehicles that leave their lane before they hit something less forgiving – like other vehicles or trees, poles and ditches on the side of the road.
Widening the centreline is a deceptively simple way to steer drivers away from each other. Separating the traffic this way has been proven to reduce serious crashes by up to 20 percent by giving fatigues or 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 of reducing head-on and run-off road crashes. The raised markings give off a loud rumble when a vehicle comes into contact with them. This helps give distracted drivers a wake-up call if they stray across the line. Rumble strips can reduce head-on and run-off road crashes by 30 percent and crashes resulting in people dying by 42 percent.
Good signage and road markings create a more readable road and warn drivers of risks they need to prepare for further down the road such as intersections, stop signs and sharp curves. The right signs in the right place can reduce crashes by up to 57 percent.
A wider sealed shoulder provides recovery room for drivers who lose control or need to take evasive action. This can reduce crashes by up to 35 percent.
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