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Life-Saving Rumble Strips To Be Extended

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Steven Joyce
Steven Joyce

Wellington, March 27 NZPA - Another 750km of state highway will have life saving "rumble strips" installed, Transport Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

He told the Automobile Association's annual conference at Waitangi that the NZ Transport Agency had been given an extra $4 million in funding to accelerate the installation of the "rumble strip" road markings on the state highway network.

Formally known as "audio tactile profiled markings", rumble strips are raised road markings used along road edges and centrelines.

When vehicles drive over the markings the rumbling effect acts as a wake-up call, alerting drivers that they are veering out of their lane.

The extra funding is part of the $142.5 million for small and medium sized state highway projects announced as part of the Government's Jobs and Growth plan in February.

Mr Joyce said the accelerated installation of rumble strips would help improve road safety and would contribute to regional economies.

"Most of the subcontractors laying these strips will be regionally based, using a regional workforce so local communities will benefit from the increase in work," he said.

"Tired drivers die and running over rumble strips may be a sign for drivers that they need to take a rest,"said Colin Crampton, NZTA's group manager highways and network operations.

"This is an investment in making our roads safer."

The NZTA's new national installation programme will see about 750km more of state highways fitted with rumble strips by the end of June 2009. This will increase the total length of the state highway network fitted with rumble strips to approximately 1350km.

The New Zealand Road Assessment Programme (KiwiRAP) had identified rumble strips as one of the most cost effective road safety improvement tools available, with the potential to reduce injury crashes by 20 percent to 45 percent in the locations where they were installed, Mr Crampton said.

The AA welcomed the move.

Mike Noon, motoring affairs general manager, said today rumble strips had proven to be an effective and relatively inexpensive way to save lives and prevent accidents on roads.

"People need to learn that rumble means rest," he said.

"If you are driving over the rumble strip, the vibration you experience is really a message that your concentration may be flagging and that it is time to either pay more attention or pull over and take a break."

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