Girl hit by truck on mend

By Kristin Edge

1 comment
Police are investigating whether the girl was on the crossing when hit by the truck.
Police are investigating whether the girl was on the crossing when hit by the truck.

An 8-year-old girl who was seriously injured by a truck is in a stable condition in Whangarei Hospital.

The girl was hit near the pedestrian crossing on State Highway 1 outside the Otaika shops, just south of Whangarei city, about 3.40pm on Wednesday.

Police are investigating whether she was on the crossing when hit.

The New Zealand Transport Agency confirmed major improvements were done to the crossing three years ago. Locals had watched numerous crashes there and started a petition demanding work be done on the crossing and the approach.

"As schools close for the year and Christmas draws near, the Transport Agency asks all road users to be more patient and more vigilant near places like shopping centres because of the greater number of children and other people out and about," the agency's Northland journey manager, Jacqui Hori-Hoult, said.

Innovative actions had been taken to make the crossing safer for pedestrians and more visible to drivers, Ms Hori-Hoult said.

The upgrade included improved lighting, using a red-coloured textured surface on the pedestrian island to make it more visible, laying a skid resistance surface on the highway approaches to the crossing to improve braking and placing the traditional black and white pedestrian crossing on a red-coloured surface.

As well, line-marking around the crossing was improved.

Ms Hori-Hoult said the agency would consider whether other action was required when it received a police report into the incident.

Agency records show that in the past five years two minor-injury crashes involving pedestrians occurred on or near the crossing before the girl was injured on Wednesday.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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