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9 February 2018
A mock crash near Te Awamutu yesterday encouraged Waipa drivers to slow down on rural roads. Emergency services attended the scene at the high-risk intersection of Pokuru and Te Mawhai Roads around 7am.
The joint initiative between New Zealand Police, Te Awamutu Fire Brigade, St John and Waipa District Council aimed to highlight to motorists what can happen when driving too fast for the conditions. Each motorist driving past the crash scene was stopped and received information about the risks of driving too fast on rural roads.
Council’s Road Safety Co-ordinator Megan Jolly said the conditions at Pokuru Road are typical of rural roads in the Waipa district.
“Besides the layout of the road, roadside hazards such as drains, power poles and banks make these roads very unforgiving if you make a mistake. We all need to adjust our speed to suit the conditions of rural roads,” she said.
In the past six years driving ‘too fast’ has contributed to 32 serious injury and 7 fatal crashes within the Waipa district. Incidents where the driver has lost control account for 70% of local rural road crashes.
Police Sergeant Warren Shaw says these figures demonstrate the need to lower our speed and drive to the conditions on rural roads.
“These roads were designed for, and are still often only suited to, 80 kilometres per hour or less,” he says.
“Rural roads are generally narrow and drivers need to be aware of the likelihood they will come across agriculture vehicles which are often large and slow.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Karl Tutty said messages at the mock-crash were well received by the public.
“Fire and Emergency New Zealand have attended three incidents on this road in the last year involving single vehicles, so it’s a good location to remind drivers of the consequences of not driving to the conditions.”
For more information about driving on rural roads, visit: www.reducetherisk.co.nz/potential-risks/speed
Media enquiries, please contact: Simone van Asbeck, 027 564 7622