Rollover near-misses next part of accident review

Review shows 38 potential rollover sites in the district, 21 on State Highway 35.

Review shows 38 potential rollover sites in the district, 21 on State Highway 35.

DISTRICT police commander Inspector Sam Aberahama has told the regional transport committee that near-misses will be the subject of the next stage in an investigation into logging trucks rollovers in the Gisborne district.

The committee has been presented with a consultant’s review, which showed 38 potential rollover sites in the district, 21 of which were on State Highway 35.

Inspector Aberahama said communities were talking a lot about feeling safe on the arterial routes used by a high volume of trucks and where there had been a lot of near-misses.

He and the New Zealand Transport Agency wanted to find a way to collate those near-misses, he said.

In the case of a crash site at Ruakaka Road, there had been umpteen near-misses in the same area. The review was a good starting point. If they could get a better picture of what was going on, it could shape future engineering and enforcement actions.

Mayor Meng Foon said it was not always the big trucks that were at fault. He had seen situations where cars did not have enough power to safely overtake. That was not safe, particularly in bad weather where the driver’s view was obscured by mist from the vehicle.

“It is like the blind going into the blind,” he said. “It is not always the truck driver that is at fault.”

Bill Burdett said on the way to the meeting he passed a logging truck that had jack-knifed. Fortunately staff from roading contractors SSE had stopped and redirected traffic.

Blind spots

Eastland Wood Council representative Prue Younger said they had a meeting with Tairawhiti Roads where people from the industry talked about blind spots and how neighbours going up the forestry roads could remain safe.

She recently interviewed drivers and they told her that if it was not for their competence there would be a whole lot more accidents. A huge education programme was needed for both parties.

Public health adviser Kate Sykes said people had a perception that roads were unsafe. Seven trucks in a row came past her home the other day and it was quite challenging to try to overtake that number.

Allan Hall said another part of the review said hopefully the road improvements would make it more difficult for trucks to speed and reduce the risk of rollovers.

Chairman Roger Haisman said: “We are all drivers on the highway, we all know the risks involved and it is up to everybody, no matter what you are driving, even cyclists, to understand the topography and the traffic flows in this district.”

This review had some useful data and it would be useful to get more data so that when it came time for a hard spend to try to improve the problem, the council had hard facts. Up to now they had been working in the dark.

Pat Seymour said it was good that the council and the industry were now taking this matter seriously.

There had been a huge turnout at a three-hour safety workshop last month. The committee was told that two of the four main rollover sites were being worked on. The Mangatuna S bend was under construction and the Rototahi swamp site, south of Tolaga Bay, was planned for construction this summer.

DISTRICT police commander Inspector Sam Aberahama has told the regional transport committee that near-misses will be the subject of the next stage in an investigation into logging trucks rollovers in the Gisborne district.

The committee has been presented with a consultant’s review, which showed 38 potential rollover sites in the district, 21 of which were on State Highway 35.

Inspector Aberahama said communities were talking a lot about feeling safe on the arterial routes used by a high volume of trucks and where there had been a lot of near-misses.

He and the New Zealand Transport Agency wanted to find a way to collate those near-misses, he said.

In the case of a crash site at Ruakaka Road, there had been umpteen near-misses in the same area. The review was a good starting point. If they could get a better picture of what was going on, it could shape future engineering and enforcement actions.

Mayor Meng Foon said it was not always the big trucks that were at fault. He had seen situations where cars did not have enough power to safely overtake. That was not safe, particularly in bad weather where the driver’s view was obscured by mist from the vehicle.

“It is like the blind going into the blind,” he said. “It is not always the truck driver that is at fault.”

Bill Burdett said on the way to the meeting he passed a logging truck that had jack-knifed. Fortunately staff from roading contractors SSE had stopped and redirected traffic.

Blind spots

Eastland Wood Council representative Prue Younger said they had a meeting with Tairawhiti Roads where people from the industry talked about blind spots and how neighbours going up the forestry roads could remain safe.

She recently interviewed drivers and they told her that if it was not for their competence there would be a whole lot more accidents. A huge education programme was needed for both parties.

Public health adviser Kate Sykes said people had a perception that roads were unsafe. Seven trucks in a row came past her home the other day and it was quite challenging to try to overtake that number.

Allan Hall said another part of the review said hopefully the road improvements would make it more difficult for trucks to speed and reduce the risk of rollovers.

Chairman Roger Haisman said: “We are all drivers on the highway, we all know the risks involved and it is up to everybody, no matter what you are driving, even cyclists, to understand the topography and the traffic flows in this district.”

This review had some useful data and it would be useful to get more data so that when it came time for a hard spend to try to improve the problem, the council had hard facts. Up to now they had been working in the dark.

Pat Seymour said it was good that the council and the industry were now taking this matter seriously.

There had been a huge turnout at a three-hour safety workshop last month. The committee was told that two of the four main rollover sites were being worked on. The Mangatuna S bend was under construction and the Rototahi swamp site, south of Tolaga Bay, was planned for construction this summer.

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