The Weather Activated Variable Speed Limit signs on the Kaimai Range (State Highway 29) are back up and running.
The signs were temporarily shut down because of vandalism in May 2018, when a number of batteries, storage cabinets and cameras were stolen or tampered with.
The cost of the replacement equipment was $75,000. The Transport Agency has increased security on the signs by installing anti-theft devices on the cabinetry, including alarms and surveillance.
“The signs were put in place in an effort to reduce the number of people being killed or seriously injured on SH29 over the Kaimai Range and were designed to encourage people to drive at safe speeds that are appropriate to the road conditions when rain, ice and fog hit the Kaimai Range,” says NZ Transport Agency Project Team Manager John McCarthy.
Data shows that over 70% of the crashes on the range happen in wet weather, and that over 40% of these were caused by drivers travelling too fast for the conditions.
“With winter settling in we want to remind people to drive to the conditions, reducing their speed and increasing following distances during adverse weather,” says John.
The trial started in November 2015 and data from the trial is currently being analysed. Results from the first year of the trial showed there was a reduction in the number and severity of crashes. Given the positive impact the signs had in the first year it was decided the signs would stay in place until the outcome of the trial is known.