Weather-activated road signs slow drivers down

Weather-activated road signs slow drivers down

The message to drivers to reduce their speed depending on conditions is no longer just a catchy road safety slogan, it will soon be law.

New Zealand’s first weather-activated road signs will go live on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Range in the Bay of Plenty next week.

The 22 high-tech signs adjust the speed limit written on them in accordance with the weather, in an endeavour to reduce the crash rate on the steep road.

"Despite the changeable weather on the Kaimai Range people still attempt to travel at 100km/h," says New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) chief safety advisor Colin Brodie.

He says the agency's data shows more than 70 percent of crashes in the area happen when it's wet.

NZTA will monitor the weather station, then adjust the speeds depending on the conditions; anywhere between 30km/h and 100km/h.

Speeds will be enforced by police once the trial goes live on November 2.

NZTA is working closely with police and others to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the country's roads.

"This trial aims to get people driving at safe speeds that are appropriate to the road and conditions….If it is successful, and there is a reduction in death and serious injuries within the trial site, it may be rolled out across similar sites around New Zealand," says Mr Brodie.

The trial will go on for two years and will be regularly monitored to assess driver behaviour.

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