Senior policeman calls for stop sign at intersection

NO CHANGE: Senior

One of the Selwyn’s top police officers has joined the call for action over a crash prone intersection.

Senior Sergeant Pete Stills has backed Waddington residents’ pleas to have a stop sign installed at the intersection of State Highway 73 and Waimakariri Gorge Rd.

NZTA senior safety engineer David Scarlet said on Monday its highway maintenance team will be providing a report on conditions at the Waddington intersection at the time of the crash.

It will also look at other factors which may have contributed related to road, weather or signage conditions.

Mr Scarlet said a stop sign is normally used where there is limited visibility­ and this intersection had good visibility in both directions.

He said a give way sign still appears to be the most appropriate tool to use.

In July, NZTA told Selwyn Times it would not install a stop sign at the intersection.

But Senior Sergeant Stills said forcing motorists to stop should increase their ability to have a proper look in both directions.

“If we don’t try something different we will keep getting what we get now,” he said.

It comes after four people were lucky not to be seriously injured when a car was hit in the rear by a truck on State Highway 73.

The incident happened on Friday, July 27, at 1pm.

Senior Sergeant Stills said two rental cars and a truck were involved. The first car pulled out from the Waimakariri Gorge Rd causing the truck to brake heavily.

The second vehicle followed and was hit in the rear by the truck. No injuries were sustained, but Senior Sergeant Stills said the four occupants in the second vehicle were very lucky.

“Had they been hit 1m further forward on the vehicle they would have had potentially serious issues,” he said.

Already two serious crashes have been recorded at the intersection this year, one fatal.

Three other crashes that resulted in both serious and minor injuries were recorded at the intersection between 2014-2016.

Senior Sergeant Stills said a feature in several crashes at this intersection has been a second vehicle following another vehicle through the give way without having checked that the way is clear.

He also considers it a suitable intersection for a 70km/h flashing sign on State Highway 73.

•HAVE YOUR SAY: What should be done about the intersection of the State Highway 73 and Waimakariri Gorge Rd? Email your views to georgia.oconnor@starmedia.kiwi

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