Making the road safer
State Highway 1 between the Waitaki River Bridge, north of Ōamaru, and Dunedin is an important stretch of highway. It’s the main link between Christchurch and Dunedin and it provides connections to the North Otago, Central Otago and Waitaki regions.
Local communities along the route are growing and there are also a number of popular tourist attractions in the area, such as the Moeraki Boulders.
Between 2007 and 2016, 30 people died and 112 were seriously injured in crashes on this stretch of road.
Most serious crashes involved people losing control of their vehicle, running off the road and crashing into roadside objects such as a tree, fence or ditch, or hitting another vehicle head-on. There have also been a significant number of crashes at intersections on the route.
What we are doing
We want to upgrade the road to help prevent more crashes like these, but we need the local community’s help to get it right. After all, it is locals who know local roads best.
People will always make mistakes, but there are changes we can make to the road so simple mistakes don't cost lives. The types of improvements we could make are:
- putting in roadside safety barriers to stop drivers running off the road into steep gullies and ditches
- widening the centreline or putting a barrier along the middle of the road in busy areas to help stop head-on crashes
- improving road markings so they’re easier to see in wet weather and at night
- widening the road shoulder in some areas to give drivers more room to recover if they lose control
- making some intersections safer
- putting in rumble strips to give drivers a wake-up call if they stray across the line
- reviewing speeds so they’re safe and appropriate for the road
- improving signs to warn drivers that they are approaching local communities along the route.
Check out our video from the East Otago A&P Show to see what other people who use the road think: