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The NZ Transport Agency is leading a targeted $22.5 million programme of work to add a range of low-cost safety improvements to make 30 regional state highways safer.

The roads are in Northland, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Canterbury, Otago and Southland and will be upgraded over the summer with rumble strips and better signs. Safety barriers will also be added to some roads.

While traffic volumes are lower on these roads, the risks for people travelling on them are real and many deaths and serious injuries can be avoided by making some relatively simple, but effective, improvements. For example, rumble strips can reduce all crashes by around 25 percent and fatal run-off-road crashes by up to 42 percent.

Work to install the road safety improvements will begin in February 2018.

The Boost programme is also investigating rural intersection activated warning signs (RIAWS) at a number of high-risk intersections on other state highways around the country.

Proposed RIAWs are in Northland, Waikato, Horowhenua, Canterbury and Central Otago.

RIAWS are electronic signs that reduce the speed limit on the state highway (usually from 100 km/h to 60km/hr or 70km/h) if a vehicle is turning into or out of a side road. RIAWS signs are already being successfully used at 13 locations on state highways around the country to improve intersection safety with minimal delays for road users.

We’re looking at putting RIAWS in at 10 sites throughout the country. Consultation was held from 5 to 30 March 2018 and is now closed. Find out more.

This work is in addition to the $600m being spent targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over a decade under the Safe Roads programme.