As part of its annual safety work programme, the NZ Transport Agency is installing more than 250 road lane directional arrow signs across the Wellington and Wairarapa regions, ready for the busy summer season ahead.
“The primary reason for these arrows is to increase drivers’ awareness of keeping in the left lane as they travel on the state highway network,” Mark Owen, NZ Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager says.
The arrows are targeted to areas where historically there have been issues with drivers being confused about which lane they need to be in, as they exit an intersection, or at one lane bridges. Areas for installation across the Wellington and Wairarapa include rest areas, at the end of passing lanes, and places popular with tourists, such as bed and breakfasts, cafés directly off the highway, and golf courses. Arrows will also be installed at the intersections by the Tararua Forest Park and Kaitoke Regional Park.
“These spots are popular with visitors, with the Rivendell set from the Lord of the Rings trilogy at Kaitoke Regional Park attracting visitors from all over the world. The arrows will help keep drivers focused on keeping left once they come back on to the state highway,” Mr Owen says.
Made of thermoplastic dot matrix material, the reflectorised white arrows are safer and more visible for all road users than traditional paint markings.
"The advantages of this material over paint is their superior friction properties," Mr Owen says. "Compared to paint, this material has improved drainage properties making the arrows safer for motorcyclists."
While the arrows are new to the Wellington and the Wairarapa regions, they have been successfully used in other parts of the country, including the Nelson and Tasman districts.
"The arrows are especially helpful in rural areas where the speeds are higher and there is less traffic around to help drivers remember to drive on the left," Mr Owen says.