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Transit New Zealand wins road safety award

Transit New Zealand
National Office
Media Release

23 May 2006

Transit New Zealand wins road safety award for Coastal Median Barrier Project
Transit New Zealand is delighted to have won a national road safety award for its State Highway 1 Coast Road Median Barrier Project, says chief executive Rick van Barneveld.

The project won the Road Engineerng category of the Road Safety Innovation and Achievement Awards, funded by the Road Safety Trust and administered by Land Transport New Zealand. The awards were presented at a ceremony at Parliament today by Associate Minister of Transport Hon Judith Tizard.

The 700-metre wire-rope median barrier was installed in December 2004 to prevent head-on crashes on a narrow coastal section of State Highway 1 north of Wellington. It is believed to be the first such barrier in the world in place on such a narrow two-lane, two-way road. It was built following a series of fatal crashes on the highway.

Mr van Barneveld said there have been no reported injury crashes on this stretch of highway since the barrier was installed. It had made the coastal road considerably safer and prevented potentially fatal head-on crashes.
"We installed video cameras to monitor the barrier, and they have captured 10 instances where the barrier was hit. Four of these incidents would probably have resulted in a serious head-on collision."

The video cameras have also revealed that driver behaviour on the stretch of road has improved, with motorists keeping more to the centre of their respective lanes.

The barrier was investigated, designed, and constructed in just three months. The project consultant was MWH NZ Ltd and the contractor Road Services Ltd. The road stayed open during construction, causing minimal disturbance to traffic flows.

Preparatory work for extending the barrier along the full length of the coastal section of SH1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki is underway.
The SH1 Coast Road Median Barrier Project also won the 3M Traffic Safety Innovation Award in 2005.

*****

Background Information on the Awards

The Road Safety Innovation and Achievement Awards programme is funded by the Road Safety Trust and administered by Land Transport New Zealand. The awards organising committee includes representatives from the New Zealand Automobile Association, the AA Driver Education Foundation, New Zealand Police, ACC and Land Transport New Zealand.
There are five categories, plus the Premier award:

· Road Safety Education Award
· Road Safety Community Award
· Road Safety in Organisations Award
· Road Safety Vehicle Based Award
· Road Safety Road-engineering Award
All entries in the were evaluated by a three-member expert judging panel comprised of Michael Gross, Dr Carolyn Cogan, Director of the Safe Communities Foundation of New Zealand, and Suzanne Sinclair, chair of the Road Safety Trust.

Visit us at www.transit.govt.nz

ENDS

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