Sign at bridge gives false warnings

The warning sign in Humber St flashes "stop" at a pedestrian who is walking by and almost...
The warning sign in Humber St flashes "stop" at a pedestrian who is walking by and almost certainly under the 3m requirement. PHOTO: WYATT RYDER
Warning signs calling for traffic to stop in Oamaru have had to be reset 16 times in the past three weeks due to false activations.

The Humber St signs were installed in 2021 at a cost of $70,000 after a series of accidents caused by tall vehicles trying to squeeze through.

The south sign is notorious for flashing "stop" and "over height", sending warnings to oversized vehicles that do not exist.

A Waitaki District Council spokesman said the sign was typically reset by a council officer at the end of a lunch break when returning from his car parked near the sign.

The officer believed it had been reset 16 times in the past three weeks.

It was often triggered when there were a lot of tourists around the Steampunk HQ area.

There were a few occasions where resetting the sign was insufficient and the officer needed assistance from a contractor.

"The manufacturer has offered to provide a permanent fix to this issue."

It could take a few weeks until the fix was complete, he said.

The council had spent "almost no money" resetting the sign over the years.

The sign had reduced the number of strikes as well as near misses, he said.

"As a preventive measure, we believe this sign is doing a good job."

The bridge has a clearance height of 3m.

In November 2020, a truck crashed into the bridge then rolled on to a car, crushing it.

Trucks had also hit the bridge and either got stuck or rolled on to their side in 2018 and 2019.

In 2014, a car lorry tried to pass under the bridge, and lost two vehicles off the deck when they hit the bridge.