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Activated intersection warning signs on trial in Southland

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From early next month electronic speed warning signs will be used to help improve safety at the intersection of State highway 1/Kennington Road just north of Invercargill.

From early next month electronic speed warning signs will be used to help improve safety at the intersection of State highway 1/Kennington Road just north of Invercargill.

The Rural Intersection Activated Warning Signs will be activated on Tuesday, 8 October as part of a two-year NZ Transport Agency trial to improve safety at high risk rural intersections by reducing the severity of crashes, through lowering speeds. In the past 10 years, 20 crashes have been recorded at the State highway 1/Kennington Road intersection, with four involving serious injury.

The Transport Agency's Southland Area Manager Peter Robinson says improving safety on high-risk rural roads and intersections is a major focus in the Transport Agency's Safer Journeys strategy.

"This approach means wherever possible the potential for serious injury should be reduced. This trial contributes to two cornerstones of the Safe System approach - safe speeds and safe road use." Mr Robinson says many high-speed intersection crashes involve drivers failing to give way or turning movement crashes between two vehicles. "We know that the risk of serious injury or death from side impacts crashes rises dramatically at speeds over 50km/h."
 

When a vehicle on Kennington Road approaches the intersection with State highway 1, the electronic signs on the highway located about 150m each side of the intersection, display a 70km/h speed limit. Highway traffic will need to slow to this speed, and in doing so reduce the impact speed should a collision occur.

Mr Robinson says if there are no vehicles on the Kennington Road approach to the highway, the signs aren't activated and the 100km/h open road speed limit applies.The cost of this two-year trial is an estimated $250,000. Six other trial sites have been identified around the country including one that started in May this year on State Highway 73 near Christchurch.

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