Public concerned about high crash rate on Otaika Valley Road

By Dean Nathan

In Northland, there is increased public concern over the high rate of truck crashes on one particular roadway. The situation is a grave concern for local residents with the roadway about to be redesigned to a state highway. 

Trucks continue to speed along Otaika Valley Road today despite the five truck crashes in a short space of time.

“Well, the companies need to take responsibility and slow them up and keep them at the correct speed. The main accidents happen outside my place so I've had about four at the moment, so it's a concern”, says Bob Governor, a local resident.

In the three years to date, a safety committee has been formed for the road and one of their initiatives has been giving hi-vis vests to school children.

“There’s not much you can do about it really can you.  I guess they'll have to make regulations about lowering the speed around here or something but yeah, as you can see with the noise in the background”, says local resident Holly Tomkin.

The New Zealand Transport Association told Te Kāea that they are working with the freight industry to ensure drivers are educated about the risk factors and how to avoid them.

Te Kāea’s camera operator filmed at the roadside today there was a noticeable decrease in the speed of the trucks on the road.

Governor says, “I have attended a lot of fatalities you know going into logging trucks and it’s not a pretty sight. The corners are just, they can't handle the camber of the road, and it’s just speed.  Who do we see about getting these drivers educated?”

It's only hoped that safety conditions on the road will improve once it becomes a state highway later this year.