Intersection Safety Campaign
A campaign aimed at reducing the number of crashes at Auckland intersections will be launched on May 14.
Peter Kippenberger, regional manager for the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA), says “failure to give way or stop at junctions is the leading cause of road crash injury in the Auckland region, accounting for over 700 reported injury crashes per year.
“Many of these crashes involve right hand turns into roads and they can occur at traffic lights, give way and stop-controlled intersections, uncontrolled junctions and driveways.”
The campaign will aim to improve intersection behaviour by encouraging motorists to be more cautious when driving through intersections around the city. Having a good knowledge of the give way rules and avoiding red light running are fundamental aspects of improving intersection safety, which is being addressed by driver licensing programmes and increased police enforcement.
“Expect the unexpected @ intersections” is the theme for the campaign, which highlights four key messages – slow down, indicate, look and red means stop. The campaign, which is being jointly organised by Auckland City, the Land Transport Safety Authority and Transit New Zealand, will build on the success of two earlier intersection campaigns.
The eight-week long campaign will be launched with a regional seminar on the engineering, enforcement and education of intersection safety, featuring speakers from Auckland City, Auckland Regional Council (ARC), LTSA, New Zealand Police and Transit New Zealand.
ARC Councillor Les Paterson says the seminar acknowledges the importance of the need for engineering, enforcement and education initiatives to work together to achieve better road safety outcomes.
“Ongoing blackspot studies, targeted police enforcement and education have combined to reduce the number of intersection crashes in the region, but greater improvements can be achieved if drivers showed more caution,” he says. The campaign remind us that avoiding an intersection crash is as simple as slowing down, indicating and looking more. The most blatant cause of intersection crashes is red light running so the police will be working hard to let motorists know that red means stop.”
Auckland City’s road safety co-ordinator, Raewyn Fairley, says the high rate of crashes at many intersections in Auckland City identified the need for driver education and increased enforcement. This year’s campaign builds on the 1999 regional “know when to go” campaign, which focused on raising general awareness of the problem, providing education about intersection behaviour and making drivers aware of the give way rules.
Raewyn Fairley says this year’s campaign will target drivers aged between 20 and 29. This group of drivers was identified from LTSA statistics on reported intersection crashes.
“It’s important that all drivers observe the give way rules at all intersections, whether signalled or non-signalled,” she says.
The campaign will spread its message by advertisements on and in buses, radio advertising and café postcards. Transit New Zealand has come on board to promote the messages through motorway off-ramp billboards and on the variable messaging signals on motorways, as many intersection blackspots develop at locations where motorists leave the motorway network.
Auckland City and Transit New Zealand have carried out improvements to several intersections in a bid to reduce crashes.
A high friction surfacing, which improves vehicle stopping, has been applied to the road at the corner of Mayoral Dr and Queen St and the intersection of Customs St and Queen St in the city. This treatment has also been applied to the intersection of Tamaki Dr and Ngapipi Rd in the Eastern Bays ward.
The Council has also installed traffic lights at the intersection of Khyber Pass Rd and Boston Rd in Newmarket, which links with the phasing of the lights on the motorway on-ramp at Khyber Pass.
Right turning arrows have also been installed at the intersection of Remuera/Ascot and Orakei Rds in Remuera and also at the Khyber Pass/Mountain Rd and Grafton/Park Rd intersections.
Traffic signals have also been installed at the intersection of Wolverton Rd/St Georges Rd in Avondale.
Wayne McDonald, regional manager for Transit New Zealand, says that a recent motorway users’ survey highlighted that most of those drivers interviewed considered driver education a high priority and encouraging courtesy was the top issue.
Transit is working with Auckland City and other authorities towards establishing regional traffic controls so that signalled intersections across the city could be monitored 24 hours per day to improve their efficiency of operation and reduce red light running.
Variable message signs on the motorways and improved intersection signing should reduce driver uncertainty and enable them to avoid potentially dangerous, last-minute manoeuvres and unnecessary lane changes.
Transit has recently spent more than $1 million upgrading the intersection of SH20 (Wiri Station Rd) and Great South Rd, arguably one of the busiest intersections in the region, to improve safety and efficiency.
For more information, please
* Raewyn Fairley, road safety co-ordinator, Auckland City, tel: 379 2020.