Government announces $20m to make rural highways safer
Wellington: Rumble strips, safety barriers and wider shoulders will be installed as part of a road safety package to improve rural highways in Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui and the West Coast. The next stage in the Safety Boost Programme – $20 million to upgrade 670km across 11 rural state highways – was announced this morning by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The Boost Programme includes simple safety upgrades that can be installed quickly over the summer period, such as rumble strips, roadside safety barriers in high-risk locations, shoulder widening, and improved signage,” she said. The targeted highways did not have the highest levels of traffic, but were full of risky sections such as sharp corners and narrow stretches, she said.
Rumble strips can reduce fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 per cent, while shoulder widening at high risk sites can reduce serious crashes by up to 35 per cent. “All drivers make mistakes from time to time. Safety improvements like these stop simple mistakes from turning into tragedies,” Ms Genter said. NZ Herald