Direct Earth Electrical | Longlands/Railway Road Intersection

This project was undertaken at the request of a joint venture between Hastings District Council and NZTA and is part of  New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy to 2020 (Ministry of Transport 2010) which envisions a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury and introduces the Safe System approach to New Zealand.

The RIAWS trial contributes to three of the four Safe System cornerstones – safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds and safe road use. Safety improvements on high-risk rural roads and at high-risk intersections are key areas of focus for Safer Journeys. This site helps road controlling authorities identify and improve the safety of high-risk intersections within their jurisdictions.

The Safe System approach means that wherever possible an inherently safe environment should be designed. The greatest proportion of intersection crashes within high-speed environments are crossing or turning crashes between two vehicles. We know that the risk of serious injury or death for side impact crashes increases significantly above 50km/h, and therefore in order to create a safe system at intersections, travel speeds through intersections where the potential for a collision exists should be no more than 70km/h, to achieve impact speeds of 50km/h with some braking.

Accordingly, active signs that aim to slow major approach vehicles when a side road vehicle is present are proposed. The signs as pictured activate along State Highway two through multiple activation devices which include radar and inductive loops to pick up vehicles approaching the intersection from Longlands Road, to then display 70km/h with an existing intersection warning sign (PW-9). This then alerts passing motorists to the fact that a vehicle is approaching from the side road, which enables them to take evasive action, if necessary. It also reduces the speed limit to 70km/h near this intersection, which will reduce the risk of high-severity crashes involving turning traffic.

The reduced speed limits will only operate at times when traffic is approaching from the side road or turning right into the side road. Monitoring Before-and-after speed surveys will be carried out with the help of a camera and crash statistics will be monitored and evaluated after the trial period to determine if there has been an improvement.

Results of the monitoring will be made available in the first instance to all road controlling authorities and ultimately a manual will be produced. In the mean time we have observed personally our local drivers along with what are no doubt national travellers pay attention to these signs and slow down at this high risk intersection.

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