Every day, 15,000 vehicles travel this section of highway – and that figure is growing by around 2-3% each year. More vehicles on the road, means more risk, and 40% of the crashes that resulted in death or serious injury on this section of highway were due to head-on collisions.
By installing median barriers, we can prevent many of these happening in the future. And by combining median and side barriers, we can reduce road-related trauma by 75%. We have the case studies to support this.
In 2022, funding was made available for this part of the project. Since then, we’ve spoken widely with the community about our plan to include flexible median barriers as an extra safety enhancement to this project, as part of New Zealand’s Road to Zero strategy.
With any large road safety project there’s a balance between community safety and convenience, and at many of our community engagement sessions we’ve heard varying perspectives on this. For progress to happen, a balance must be struck, and decisions made.
We know flexible median barriers work. When you hit a flexible barrier, the cables flex, slowing your vehicle and keeping it upright. They’re designed to absorb the impact, protecting you and others in the vehicle, ensuring your vehicle isn’t deflected into another traffic lane.
Once median barrier is in place, you may need to change the way you use the road. When leaving the side road you live on, rather than waiting for an opportunity to turn right across a busy state highway, you’ll turn left and travel to the nearest roundabout. There will be six safe turnaround areas on this stretch of SH2.
The roundabouts will be spaced every three to five kilometres, and will make turning right much safer for those who live along SH2. Roundabouts can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured by at least 60%, because they make head-on and side impact crashes much less likely, and lower vehicle speeds.
Crashes cost our community in many ways. These changes will require some patience and understanding, but they will make the road safer for everyone.
Roundabout distances map