Getting there and back safely

Stand out road sign for Gentle Annie

Most fishing experiences involve travel to the river, lake or sea shore. Getting there and back safely is paramount, so recent developments in New Zealand to help with this should be welcomed.

What a bold initiative Waka Kotahi’s ‘Road to Zero’ is with its vision where no one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes. In the Top of The South we’ve had a taste of the implications of this new strategy. Substantial speed limit reductions on State Highway 6 between Nelson and Blenheim. This strategy was widely opposed before its introduction. I joined the mob against this erosion of our motoring ‘rights’. I changed my tune when I had to travel from Nelson to Blenheim to attend a cousin’s funeral.

Speed limits had been reduced to 60km on the Whangamoa Saddle and to 90km and 80km in other sections of the highway. What an enjoyable drive there and back it turned out to be. Very relaxing, no nitwits roaring past and everyone heeding the well signposted new speed limits. And Waka Kotahi proudly report that in the year of reduced speed limits, zero deaths have been reported and the serious crash rate has been slashed.

Buller Council on the money with new road signs

On the West Coast at Christmas time it was pleasing to see the new signage on the notorious trouble spot at Mokihinui, the river side road to Gentle Annie Beach. Along with others, I have complained to the Buller District Council about this narrow accidentprone piece of highway. The year before last I witnessed someone running off the narrow road nearly every day I was there. This year I saw only one incident where someone had put their wheels off the river side of the road in a narrow, relatively straight section of the highway. Clearly an incompetent driver at work.

Innovative road sign en route to Gentle Annie

This marked change to mishap numbers can be attributed to the signage now installed at both ends of the perilous part of the road to the beach. Not your typical generic road signs but bold custom-made ones to very clearly point out the hazards. A job well done Buller District Council. You are doing your bit on the Road to Zero.

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