The NZ Transport Agency is installing electronic warning signs at two high-risk Canterbury intersections to slow down motorists and reduce the likelihood of crashes.
A 70km/h flashing speed sign is to be installed on State Highway 1 near the Burnham Road/Aylesbury Road intersection and a flashing Slow Down sign on State Highway 1 at Pineacres - the intersection of Main North Road (SH1) and Williams Street - north of Kaiapoi.
The Transport Agency’s Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says both intersections are ranked among the top 100 high-risk intersections in New Zealand with high traffic volumes and crash rates.
More than 15,400 vehicles travel through Pineacres each day, where there have been 15 crashes in 10 years, resulting in one death and five serious injuries.
At Burnham Road/Aylesbury Road, through which more than 11,700 vehicles travel each daily, there have been 10 crashes in 10 years, resulting in one serious injury.
Mr Knaggs says the Rural Intersection Active Warning Signs (RIAWS) at each intersection are part of a national trial to determine the effectiveness of the signs in improving safety.
The South Island’s first RIAWS was installed at the intersection of State Highway 73 and Buchanans Road in May last year. Early results show that when the 70km/h sign is activated, speeds on average through the intersection are 71km/h southwest bound and 73km/h northeast bound.
In this case, when a vehicle on Buchanans Road approaches the intersection, the electronic signs on SH73, about 150m each side of the intersection, flash and display a 70km/h speed limit. Traffic on the state highway needs to slow to this speed, thereby raising awareness of approaching traffic and reducing the impact speed should there be a crash.
“Since the warning signs were installed at SH73/Buchanans Road intersection there have been two crashes, one minor and one non-injury.”
Mr Knaggs says the same principle will be applied at the two new intersections, where the two different signs are being trialled and will be swapped over to investigate which of the two signs is most effective in reducing speeds.
The new signs are scheduled to be switched on at the two intersections on Monday 22 September.
Pineacres is ranked 47 in the top 100 high-risk intersections in New Zealand and Burnham Road/Aylesbury Road is ranked 69th.
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