It’s a scenic and much-loved route for drivers and motorcyclists but State Highway 73/75 between Christchurch and Akaroa is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s highest-risk roads.
Anyone who’s made the trip knows that it requires care, concentration and safe speeds behind the wheel.
Stretches of straight road end in sharp bends and these are where the highest number of fatal and serious vehicle crashes have happened. The scenic winding sections have steep drop-offs and reduced visibility, and this is where increasing numbers of motorcyclists are being killed and injured.
Cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders all use the road in close proximity to passing vehicles. Unforgiving roadside conditions and narrow shoulders mean there’s little margin for error if simple mistakes are made.
Between 2011–2020, 75 people were killed or suffered serious injuries in crashes on this road, leaving families grieving and victims having to deal with potentially life-long injuries.
Even if speed doesn't cause the crash, speed on impact determines whether the people involved are killed, injured or walk away unharmed.
Our crash statistics are showing drivers are making mistakes and we shouldn't be dying because of it.
A small change in speed on this route will make a big difference to the outcome of a crash and the people involved.
That’s why we are reviewing speeds between Christchurch and Akaroa this year, to make sure they are safe and right for the road.