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Fatal crashes at danger sites cut 50%

Fatal crashes at danger sites cut 50% by road engineering programme

Fatal crashes at danger sites cut 50% by road engineering programme

A targeted road engineering programme has cut fatal crashes in half and reduced injury crashes by one third at over 2,300 sites around New Zealand, a study released this week by the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) shows.

The latest data from the Joint Crash Reduction Programme shows a 50 percent drop in fatal crashes and a 34 percent drop in injury crashes at 2,366 sites where low cost engineering treatments have been carried out to improve safety. Sites are identified for improvement based on their crash history, with over ten years of "before and after" crash data analysed to measure the effects of the engineering treatments.

In addition to the before and after statistics from the treated sites, underlying crash trends within each local area are taken into account. Each site is assigned a comparison group to measure crash trends at similar sites before and after the works are implemented.

The crash reduction programme was established in 1985, with a monitoring system developed progressively since 1989 to gather crash data on sites which are investigated and treated. The programme is run as a partnership by local authorities, Transit New Zealand and the LTSA.

"This programme is paying dividends in a big way, and it shows what is possible when agencies work together towards a common goal," said Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright.

Transit NZ State Highway Network Operations Manager Dave Bates said the latest results from the Crash Reduction Programme confirmed that Transit was taking the right approach to improving safety by concentrating on identifying crash sites and them making relatively low-cost improvements.

To date, a total of 4,169 sites have been studied and entered into the monitoring system, including 1,783 sites (43 percent) on state highways, with the remainder on local roads. Works have been completed at 2,421 of the sites, with data from 2,366 of these examined for the latest study.

Crash data up to 31 August 2002 estimates a total reduction of more than 7,100 injury crashes associated with the low-cost road works and other measures implemented at the 2,366 sites around the country.

The overall results of the latest crash reduction study can be viewed on-line, at http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/publications/crash/overall-results-2003-03.html

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