Another Death On New Zealand’s Roads

picture Herald on Sunday

Andrew Thomas Elwood, aged 19, died when the car he was driving crossed a centre line and collided with another car, it then plunged 2 metres down a bank at 7.20pm on Friday. Sunset was around 7.35 that evening so it would’ve been light still, it’s not known at this time if sunstrike would’ve been a factor but it had rained recently.

According to a report in the Herald locals say that the location of the crash at Fisherman’s Point, Whangarei Heads is known as an accident blackspot.

A resident, Ian Kippenberger, has been lobbying the council to put safety barriers on the roadside. He has been driving this stretch of road for 28 years and has been campaigning for improved safety measures for some time.

In June a car plunged 5 metres into the harbour near Fisherman’s point just before 9am. Fortunately the female driver was unhurt on that occasion, she’d driven round a corner with a negative camber and lost traction on the road which had become ‘greasy’ after rain.

You may recall that in some posts recently we’ve highlighted that according to AA information

  • New Zealand’s Road Safety to 2010 strategy forecasts that 42 lives a year could be saved by improvements in road engineering.
  • Installing rumble strips on roads can reduce crashes by up to 27% by preventing run-off-road and head-on collisions.
  • Installing a barrier along an embankment can reduce run-off-road casualty crashes by as much as 45%.

Yet scores of crashes are still ocuring even though accident blackspots are well known about deaths and serious injuries are still happening. What will it take to reduce the carnage on New Zealand’s roads?

Our deepest sympathies are with the friends and families of Andrew and the other people involved in the crash, we hope that improvements are now made to this road.