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The NZ Transport Agency is leading a $22.5 million programme to add a range of low-cost safety improvements to make 30 regional state highways safer.

The roads are in Northland, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Canterbury, Otago and Southland and will be upgraded over the summer with rumble strips and better signs. Safety barriers will also be added to some roads.

While traffic volumes are lower on these roads, the risks for people travelling on them are real and many deaths and serious injuries can be avoided by making some relatively simple, but effective, improvements. For example, rumble strips can reduce all crashes by around 25 percent and fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 percent.

Work to install the road safety improvements began in February 2018.

The Boost programme is also installing Intersection Speed Zones (also known as rural intersection activated warning signs or RIAWS) at a number of high-risk intersections on other state highways around the country.

These will be installed in Northland, Waikato, Canterbury and Central Otago.

Intersection Speed Zones are electronic signs that reduce the legal speed limit on the state highway (usually from 100 km/h to 60km/hr or 70km/h) if a vehicle is turning into or out of a side road. They also do this when someone is crossing the state highway from a side road. They are already being successfully used at 13 locations on state highways around the country to improve intersection safety with minimal delays for road users.

Rumble strips on southern state highways

The NZ Transport Agency is removing short sections of rumble strips on three southern South Island state highways after accepting suggested changes made by local cycling groups and the Waitaki District Council. The changes will accommodate the cyclists’ concerns without compromising safety for drivers. Read independent reports on the sections to be removed on SH6/SH8A [PDF, 715 KB] and SH6/SH83 [PDF, 925 KB].

Read more about Intersection Speed Zones.

This work is in addition to the $600m being spent targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over a decade under the Safe Roads Programme