The NZ Transport Agency is working with local authorities around the country to identify New Zealand’s riskiest intersections and target them for safety improvements.
The Transport Agency has today published information outlining improvements made or being planned to improve safety at many of New Zealand’s 100 highest-risk intersections. The high-risk intersection list has been compiled by the NZ Transport Agency, with input from local authorities, by using guidelines developed in 2013 to provide a nationally consistent method of assessing crash data to identify intersection crash risks. Crash figures were analysed for the ten years from 2003 to 2012, with 53 deaths and 445 serious injuries recorded at the 100 highest-risk intersections over that period.
Guidance has also been provided to road controlling authorities on the most effective ways of improving safety at intersections for all road users. Safety improvements have already been completed at 22 of the 100 intersections, plans have been completed for upgrading 47 and are in development for a further 18, with measures under investigation for the remaining 13.
Transport Agency Road Safety Director Ernst Zollner said the work was part of the Government’s Safer Journeys Action Plan, and the list of high-risk intersections would be updated regularly to ensure that safety improvements continue to be targeted to where they can most effectively reduce crashes, save lives and prevent injuries.
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1. Why has a high-risk intersection list been developed?
The Safer Journeys 2013-15 Action Plan identified high-risk intersections as an area where more focus was needed to reduce deaths and serious injuries.
The list of 100 intersections will help the NZ Transport Agency and its road controlling authority partners better manage the local risk so they can target safety improvements to where they’re most needed and help reduce crashes, save lives and prevent injuries.
2. How was the High-risk intersections list compiled?
The High-risk intersection guide, developed in 2013, was used to propagate the list to ensure consistent analysis was applied across the network.
The guide includes an assessment tool that determines the ‘Level of Safety Service’ for intersections. Death and serious injury crashes over the last ten years were considered to give a rate per annum with a double weighting on the last five years.
In August 2013 a draft list of 100 intersections was developed. Since then the Transport Agency and local road controlling authorities (RCAs) have worked together closely to ensure that the list accurately reflected the current risk. Changes have been made as a result of this validation.
Where works were completed before March 2013, any intersections were discounted from the process.
3. Why has a High-risk intersections guide been developed?
To identify risk effectively across the country it’s important to have a nationally consistent way of measuring that risk.
Road controlling authorities (RCAs) can use the Guide to identify their high-risk intersections and then to prioritise them by examining the crash histories and site characteristics to identify risk factors for which there are effective countermeasures.
The guide also identifies a nationally consistent application of these proven countermeasures.
4. How was the guide developed?
The guide was prepared by the Transport Agency, assisted by a number of road safety engineers from several RCAs. A draft guide was issued for consultation and trial use in April 2012 before being finalised in August 2013.
5. What will make the intersections on the list safer?
Under the Safe System approach we look at improving all parts of the system – roads and roadsides, vehicles, speeds and road use.
The countermeasures to improve safety will be different for each intersection. In some locations the most effective steps to reduce crash risk may be better managing traffic flows or speeds, while for others the best solution will be physical changes to the road layout, and for some the answer may be a mix of both.
As an investor, the Transport Agency will be looking for the most effective (and cost effective) solutions.
6. What work has already been done to the intersections on the list?
Since developing the draft list, progress has been good. This highlights the ability to respond to emerging safety issues at short notice.
Improvements to 22 intersections have been completed, as a result of operating as usual. Even without the development of the list we were on the way to achieving these milestones and noting that there was a need to invest in these areas.
All intersections will continue to be monitored and reassessed using the methodology in the High Risk Intersection Guide to check intersection safety performance.
7. What can the public do to minimise risk at these intersections?
By raising awareness of intersections where crash risks may be higher we can encourage drivers to use extra caution at these locations.