Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Good decision-making can save lives on the road

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National Road Policing Manager Superintendent Steve Greally with NZTA senior safety engineer Adam Francis at the crash site where five people were killed on Tuesday. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
National Road Policing Manager Superintendent Steve Greally with NZTA senior safety engineer Adam Francis at the crash site where five people were killed on Tuesday. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

National road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally has met with New Zealand Transport Agency representatives at the scene of the crash where five people were killed when their car collided with a truck on Tuesday night.

They met to touch base with each other and discuss the $520 million roading project which included that stretch of State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Waihi.

Mr Greally said investigations into how the crash happened were ongoing and while the transport agency was pumping millions into road upgrades every year, there was something everyone could do to make roads safer overnight.

Read more: Hostile crowd boos and heckles roading authorities at Katikati meeting

"The next time you hop in your car think about the decisions you are going to make while driving.

"Restraints, speed and cell phone use are all common sense but it's amazing how many people underestimate the risk in terms of driving."

Mr Greally said people made mistakes, it was human nature, and the roads needed to be able to cope with those mistakes so when they were made people had a better chance of walking away.

Adam Francis, senior safety engineer for NZTA, said the agency was similar to the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff - it could not make people better drivers but it could improve roads so when mistakes were made the damage was minimised.

His colleague, senior project manager Chris Farnsworth said that bit of road where the accident happened on Tuesday had received some safety upgrades about 12 months ago.

A wire rope barrier was put in on the lane heading into Tauranga and as a result Aongatete Coolstores Ltd chopped down their tree shelter belt, improving line of sight significantly for traffic turning out of Dawson Rd.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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