The NZ Transport Agency is installing new electronic truck warning signs at three narrow corners on the Featherston side of the State Highway 2Rimutaka Hill Road to improve safety by giving motorists advance warning if a large truck is coming around the corner.
The signs on SH2 near Windy Point are designed to warn motorists of an approaching truck and/or trailer, or large articulated vehicle. Space is limited on these corners, and the electronic signs will flash amber and provide early notice of an approaching truck.
The Transport Agency’s Regional Performance Manager, Mark Owen says the signs are located along a stretch of highway where the angle of the corner makes it challenging for larger vehicles. “Giving motorists advance warning that a truck is approaching means any oncoming traffic can slow down and wait for the larger vehicle to safely navigate the corner,” says Mr Owen.
The signs are powered by solar energy, and automatically detect large vehicles. There are monitoring devices located along the road that detect the height of a vehicle. As a high-sided vehicles such as a truck and trailer unit passes, the electronic warning sign further up the road flashes to warn oncoming traffic that a large vehicle is approaching the corner.
'This is a simple yet innovative measure that will make it safer to travel over the Rimutakas, and will give peace of mind to motorists and truck drivers.'
Road Transport Association Area Executive Sandy Walker has welcomed the new devices.
'With operators having to meet static rollover thresholds, it has meant longer and safer vehicles are now required to carry out everyday transport needs for their customers.
'During the initiation phase the NZ Transport Agency and Road Transport Association worked closely together monitoring vehicle behaviours and carriageway requirements on the three corners of concern.
'Trial signage and new lane marking has assisted with traffic behaviour, however electronic signage that is set off by the mass of the vehicle will greatly improve the safety for all motorists on the three corners until major works can be planned.
'Working with the Transport Agency and their team to achieve this interim result has been positive, practical, cost effective and very much appreciated by the Road Transport Association and its members'
The new signs are scheduled to be switched on tomorrow morning, just in time for Wellington Anniversary Weekend.