Police fear fatality at dangerous intersection

By Amy Shanks

1 comment

Police say it is only a matter of time before someone dies at a dangerous Meeanee intersection, unless measures are taken to fix it.

Constable Wayne Stewart of the Hawke's Bay traffic unit attended an accident involving two vehicles in a 100km/h zone at the crossing of Brookfields Rd and Sears Rd about 12.15pm on Sunday.

"Both cars were totalled. One had been hit from the side where there was a passenger sitting," Mr Stewart said.

"The impact was such that, if it wasn't for the modern cars with side airbags, that passenger would have died.

"They were lucky to walk away with minor injuries."

The area where the crash happened is semi rural and in spring and summer foliage on shelter belt trees lining the roadside make visibility "almost impossible".

"There is a four-way intersection, only two of the intersections have got give way signs, the others have nothing.

It's been that way for 10-15 years.

"There have been heaps of crashes in that time but nothing has been done."

Mr Stewart realised the extent of the problem after trying to determine which driver was at fault in Sunday's incident.

"I went to see who should have given way but no one had to. Both had the right of way. All it needs are some give way symbols painted on the road, a couple of signs and that's the end of the matter."

The problem occurs when a vehicle is heading straight along Brookfields Rd towards Jessop Rd and another is heading straight along Brookfields Rd in the direction of Sears Rd.

Mr Stewart's prediction is grim: "The problem needs to be fixed or else someone will die there."

Other police officers he had spoken with agreed it was an issue and backed up the need for a give way system to be installed.

So does local farmer Trevor Good, whose wife Jeanette and 13-year-old grandson were involved in the accident on Sunday.

"She's pretty bruised up, she has some deep bruising in her chest. My grandson had to take the day off school [yesterday]."

Mr Good owns land in the area and has seen his share of near misses over the years. He knew there had been numerous small crashes and said, if something was not done after this, he would be making a formal complaint to Napier City Council.

"It is an extremely dangerous intersection and a lot of the problem is that poor visibility. The shelter belt makes it difficult to see traffic.

"It's something I'm not happy with. If something is not done, I'm going to follow up. I spoke to a traffic officer about 12 years ago about the corner but I never made a complaint. We most probably learnt to live with it, we are always very careful."

The trees in question were on private property and it was the landowners' responsibility to trim them.

A Napier City Council representative was unavailable for comment.


- Hawkes Bay Today

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