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Killing Fields Highway Stretch Claims Yet More Victims

Yesterday’s terrible accident along SH1 between Ōtaki and Levin yet again highlights the urgent need for the government to build the new expressway earlier. Following two consecutive accidents and deaths back in November 2018, in a joint statement with the Horowhenua Mayor, I reminded NZTA of the observation made by former coroner Philip Comber who noted that over the past 25 years the road had become “a killing field marked like a battlefield with white crosses”. It’s now November 2021 and little seems to have changed.

As noted by the AA spokesman, following yesterday’s accident, this street is one of the black spots in the country. Again I appeal to the Transport Minister to step in as this systemic killing field scenario is contrary to the Governments stated priority on safety. Our thoughts are with the injured and affected families.

I am particularly concerned for the safety of Kāpiti Coast residents living in Ōtaki as they are forced to travel north to Levin and Palmerston North to access many of their social services. Stressed residents heading north to secure health and other social services are vulnerable as they negotiate through this stretch.

I am aware that NZTA had made some safety investments along this road in recent years but this bandage approach obviously is not working as well as it should. I urge a review given we are approaching the increased traffic over the summer holiday season.

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