Road-Safety Awareness

It seems that with only the blink of an eye, another long weekend has appeared and the tail end of the year is at our doorstep. This Labour Day long weekend, I cannot stress enough how important it is that everyone makes it home safe to their friends and families. A weekend away for some rest and relaxation should not end in tragedy, but unfortunately this is a message that needs to be repeated every time there is a surge of traffic on our roads.

Keeping ourselves safe on the road is a community effort involving agencies, government services and our own behaviour. From a council perspective, our contractors are tasked with maintaining our vast roading network (the third largest roading network in New Zealand) so that people have a suitable and safe passage for their travels. While you might think of the obvious road works council is responsible for, we actually look after a range of activities that contribute to safe roads.

For instance, in the latest Fulton Hogan newsletter (which is available on our website), our contractors replaced and reinstalled road signs so that people have clear directions about what they are expected to do or where they need to go; repaired culverts to divert water off road surfaces; sprayed footpaths for lichen; and sprayed weeds along roadsides which, when out of hand, can obstruct driver vision. This was in conjunction with carrying out road markings, dig-outs, grading and repairing hundreds of potholes and pavement failures.

When we are used to a certain standard of service or product, sometimes we can forget just how different things would be if those services were no longer carried out. Imagine, for instance, if there were no road signs to tell you what speed was safe to travel at on a particular road, or if shaded roads weren’t gritted during winter to prevent vehicles slipping on ice? These are steps the Council takes to help keep people safe.

We are, of course referring to local roads not State Highways. Those roads are looked after by the NZ Transport Agency, who also subsidise some of our local work.

As our eyes and ears around the entire breadth of our district, I urge you to please let us know if you come across something on our roads that needs attention. Reporting the issue to us through the free Snap, Send, Solve app helps us to remedy the situation as soon as possible so that we can continue working to provide safe roads for the community.

Roads, particularly in our district are a fundamental service that keep our lives, businesses and – on a higher level - our economy moving. We unfortunately do not have the luxury of a well-developed public transport service to get us from point A to point B. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a passenger train running between here and Christchurch or Timaru, or perhaps buses that operated throughout the day to get you around town or between our smaller townships? I would like to see this happen, but as with any major project, these issues take a great deal of time, effort (and money) from all agencies and organisations involved to make it a reality.

In the meantime, let’s look after the infrastructure and services that we do have, and make sure we are doing everything we can to remain safe when using them. In lieu of limited transport options available, please take care on the road this long weekend. Stop for regular breaks, travel to the conditions, be aware of other drivers and make sure you and your loved ones return from your break safe. Have a happy and safe long weekend!​

Page reviewed: 08 Nov 2018 5:02pm