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ACC vehicle traffic speed detection trailers

Five more ACC vehicle traffic speed detection trailers hit the road

You may not end up getting fined, but five new ACC speed trailers are hitting the highways around the country to tell you if you are travelling too fast.

The trailers have large displays that tell motorists their speed, although they cut out and simply tell drivers to "Slow Now" if they exceed the speed limit by a threshold speed set by ACC.

ACC road safety programme manager Bill Robertson said the new trailers provide a gentle warning if you are travelling too fast.

Although there are no punitive sanctions from the trailers themselves, Mr Robertson said experience shows they are most effective when they are accompanied by enforcement.

"You can have little sympathy for a driver who is told that he or she is over the speed limit, then gets clocked by Police a few kilometres up the road," Mr Robertson said.

ACC's experience with the first four trailers is that they have had a significant impact on driving behaviour.

On a notorious stretch of road at Maraetai that has recorded 22 fatalities and 80 serious injuries in a decade, there were no crashes during the six months of a campaign.

"There was great community 'buy-in'. Support from local schools, the community, Police, media and the local marae made all the difference," Mr Robertson said.

A subsequent fatality after the campaign ended involved a motorcyclist who was new to the area and had been travelling at 160 kph.

3M Traffic and Personal Safety Product Manager Graeme Bean said the driver feedback speed trailers use an electronic sign incorporating hybrid technology which combines fluorescent reflective sheeting and light emitting diodes.

This enables the message to be clearly displayed in all weather including dawn and dusk.

“These signs have been used successfully in the US, Europe and other countries -- changing perceptions, attitudes and the speed that motorists select. Reducing speed plays a critical role in reducing the frequency and severity of crashes on our roads,” he said.

The new trailers, which boost to nine the number now in use, were handed over to ACC by supplier 3M today.

Of the five new trailers, one has already gone to Dunedin while the other four will be deployed in Lower Hutt, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Waitakere.

The new trailers will be closely monitored over the next two months and, if they live up to their promise, another five will be bought.

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