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Report tipped over traffic safety gear


Report tipped over traffic safety gear

“Report it, don’t ignore it”, is the message to people who see knocked over traffic cones or other damage to traffic management items on the roads.

Cones and temporary traffic lights have been tipped over at work sites in Hastings in the last week, either accidentally by vehicles or deliberately.

Either way, the knocking over of temporary traffic directing items puts road users at risk, particularly at night, says Hastings District Council works and services committee chairman Kevin Watkins.

“We want people to let us know as soon as they see any of this kind of damage. We don’t want you trying to replace the cones yourself – this can be very dangerous particularly around dusk and in the dark. Instead you need to ring 871 5000 and let us know as soon as possible. As part of the safety plan our teams have to be able to be on site to fix these matters within a set time period.

He said whether the damage was intentional or accidental did not alter the resulting danger.

“It is the case that on some of our rural roads, very wide horticultural vehicles can catch and knock over cones or signs and not even realise it has happened. On the other hand, it may be that some see it as a prank to fool with the cones and lights but it is a very dangerous practice that has the potential to cause serious injury to road users,” said Mr Watkins.

Sites on roads where work is being undertaken must have a safety plan that fits with the NZTA’s code of practice for temporary traffic management. The driver behind the plans is safety, for the work teams and the public. “The provision of an environment that is without risks to health and safety of road users and road workers must be an integral part of all activities carried out on the road, from planning the activity through to completion.”

Everyone has to play a part for traffic management to work, the code of practice says. “Road controlling authorities, their consultants, those who work on the roads, and those who drive on the roads, cyclists and pedestrians must all share in the responsibility of making roadwork sites safe.”

Mr Watkins said that while the number of projects affecting roads at the moment might be frustrating, all of the projects are very important, from the installation of a new water main between Hastings and Havelock North, to the new Nelson St roundabout and the installation of a major storm water pipe under Railway Rd.

“When there is a tension between traffic flow and safety, safety will always take priority – we make no apology for that. It is for all of us, site workers and road users.”

Of the projects impacting on the busiest roads, the Railway Rd project is expected to be completed by the end of July while the Hastings to Havelock North water main is scheduled to be installed by the end of the year. The timing of projects is always subject to weather and ground conditions.

ENDS


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