Dean wants Mackenzie included in road safety measures

Waitaki news
Sunday, March 8, 2015

Jacqui Dean, MP for Waitaki, wants the Mackenzie region included in the the Ministry of Transport's recently announced  fast-tracked increases in road safety measures.

The safety measures for the Southland, Otago and the West Coast were announced last week by Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss in response to public concerns with some tourist driving practises that had lead to serious and fatal vehicle accidents.

Mrs Dean said she was initially under the impression the MacKenzie had been included as large numbers of tourists passed through that district to get to and from the Central Lakes District.

The road used, SH 8, is part of the MP's electorate and is acknowledged as having a high tourist accident rate. 

"Unfortunately in relation to safety measures I was mistaken and the Mackenzie hasn't been included. I think this is an anomaly so I'm going to speak with the Minister this week and see if it can be accorded priority.

"I drive the area often and I'm aware the road to Queenstown, Wanaka or Cromwell via the Fairlie, Tekapo - Mt Cook part of the highway can be a test for all new drivers regardless of where they come from.

"It's only sensible for the entire route to be as consistent as possible in all matters such as speed, keep left and road condition signage goes. It's also appropriate extra passing lines, rumble strips and drive to weather conditions notices be put in place.

Mrs Dean said in time more off-road parking strips to allow tourists to stop, rest  and take in the scenery also needed to be constructed.

"It's not going to be easy but if we want road-users, ourselves included, to have an enjoyable and safe time on our highways and byways the work must be done. "Mrs Dean said.