Police lift safety at worst intersections

Police have issued 426 infringement notices in the past two months during a campaign to reduce crashes at the worst intersections in Dunedin, Mosgiel, Oamaru and Balclutha.

Launched in February, the campaign aimed to improve poor driver behaviour at 23 intersections, which over five years has caused injuries, death and an estimated social cost of $20 million.

The most tickets issued at a single intersection was 93 at the junction of St Andrew and Castle Sts in Dunedin.

Police stationed at intersections specifically for the campaign issued 381 of the tickets, the rest being issued by highway patrol staff at various other Dunedin intersections.

Offences included failing to stop when required by a sign, light or arrow, failing to wear a seat belt or cycle helmet, using a cellphone while driving, speeding, and breaching driver licence conditions or warrant of fitness and registration labels.

Dunedin Clutha Waitaki road policing manager Senior Sergeant Phil McDouall said the worst of the 23 intersections in terms of social cost was Orwell St and State Highway 1 in Oamaru, which had social costs of about $5 million over five years. Crashes there were mostly caused by drivers failing to give way, entering the corner too fast and merging incorrectly.

In Dunedin the worst intersection for social costs was Princes and Rattray Sts (about $3,757,240). In five years there were 14 injury crashes (four serious) and 15 other crashes. Fifty-four tickets were issued there.

The Duke and George Sts junction in Dunedin had a social cost of $3,276,298, with eight injury crashes (four serious injuries) and seven minor injuries. Thirty-six tickets were issued there.

Snr Sgt McDouall said the campaign was successful, as crash rates at the intersections fell.

Many personnel were involved: traffic units and public safety staff, tactical support and neighbourhood policing teams.

''It will be a regular task now, not necessarily all the intersections at once, but staff will be tasked from time to time to police the worst offending [incidence] intersections,'' he said.

Tickets issued at intersections (February/March)

• St Andrew/Castle Sts ... 93
• Princes/Rattray Sts ... 54
• Andersons Bay/Hillside Rds ... 46
• Great King St/Pine Hill Rd ... 38
• Duke/George Sts ... 36
• Hillside Rd/King Edward St ... 35
• King Edward St/Macandrew Rd ... 17
• Stuart/Cumberland Sts ... 12
• Moray Pl/Princes St ... 5
• Andersons Bay Rd/Strathallan St ... 2
• Various others by highway patrol staff ... 45

• Gladstone Rd South/North ... 4
• Gordon Rd/Dukes Rd North ... 1

• Eden/Reed Sts ... 15
• Ribble St/SH1 ... 12
• Orwell St/SH1... 7
• Eden St/SH1 ... 2

• High/James Sts 2

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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