The Automobile Association is calling on all political parties to commit to making New Zealand’s roads safer as it releases its list of the country’s ten most dangerous roads.
The motorist advocate group is calling on politicians to commit to upgrading all two-star highways to a three-star status, potentially halving the number of crashes resulting in inujry.
The AA would also like $100m invested in “low-cost safety improvements to lower volume regional roads.”
The AA has says 39 percent of the country’s state highways have a two-star safety rating, meaning they include hazards such as narrow lanes and poorly designed intersections. Roads with higher safety ratings include safety features like wide lanes, shoulders and safety barriers.
Mike Noon from the Automobile Association told Newshub one of the issues with two-star roads is they can lack indications of how dangerous the road is.
Mr Noon says increasing the safety of roads would reduce serious outcomes when accidents happen.
“They are very unforgiving roads. We would like to see those roads upgraded so when drivers inevitably make mistakes, those mistakes aren’t tragic,” he said.
“From 2011 to 2015, there were 1652 serious injuries and deaths on two-star roads. It’s a large part of our road trauma. These are roads that don’t explain to drivers that they are dangerous,” he said.
The most dangerous road, according to New Zealand’s road assesment programme (KiwiRAP) is the state highway between Drury and Pukekohe, which has a serious injury or death rate of 0.39 per kilometre per year.
The call to upgrade state highways is one of 10 election demands from the organisation. The group would also like to see political parties commit to measures including more red light cameras, reducing congestion and helping tourist drivers be safer on the roads.
New Zealand’s most dangerous state highways
SH22 from Drury to Pukekohe: three deaths, 19 serious injuries, 44 minor injuries
SH58 from Pauatahanui to Upper Hutt: 2 deaths, 13 serious, 47 minor
SH2 from Paeroa to Waihi: 1 death, 16 serious, 49 minor injuries
SH3 from Palmerston North to Ashurst: 2 deaths, 9 serious, 42 minor
SH3 from Ohaupo to Te Awamutu: 2 deaths, 4 serious, 25 minor
SH2 from Katikati to Tauranga: 18 deaths, 35 serious, 95 minor
SH3 from New Plymouth to Inglewood: 1 death, 11 serious, 40 minor
SH2 from Featherston to Maoribank: 3 deaths, 13 serious, 60 minor
SH6 from Frankton to Arrow Junction: 1 death, 10 serious, 37 minor
SH1N from Kawakawa to Springs Flat: 14 deaths, 41 serious, 133 minor
Based on crash data from 2012-2016.