The latest road fatality on State Highway 2 has sparked outrage and despair from frustrated road safety campaigners and Bay of Plenty National MP Todd Muller.

The fiery crash between a car and a Page contracting truck happened between Pahoia Rd and Apata Station Rd about 4.40pm on Monday.

It comes just 23 days after a man in his 60s was killed instantly after his Honda crossed the centreline and smashed into another car about 200m from the intersection with Gill Lane.

Crash on SH2 between Pahoia Rd and Apata Station Rd on Tuesday. Photo / Barry Stiles
Crash on SH2 between Pahoia Rd and Apata Station Rd on Tuesday. Photo / Barry Stiles

Sean Lett, who is a member of the "Fix the Bloody Road" campaign, said as soon as he heard the emergency sirens he almost instantly knew it was another fatality.


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Some people argue you can't blame the road, but the hard evidence shows it does need urgent attention to make it safer for everyone, especially those who used it every day.

"This road is no longer fit-for-purpose, and it hasn't been for years. With 30,000 vehicles using it daily, it can't handle the volume of traffic particularly at peak hours of the day.

"We need another TEL, a four-lane highway all the way from Tauranga to Katikati. This is the only way to fix the road and cut our horrendous death toll."

Lett said for the Government to put trams and a cycleway in Auckland over urgent safety improvements on SH2 which would save hundreds of lives "beggared" belief.

Lett said he feels so strongly that something needs to be done, that he and a bunch of other "Fix the Bloody Road" members are now refusing to pay their rates until it is fixed.

While the community waited for the improvements to be done, he would like to see the speed limit on SH2 reduced to 80km/h and the right turn across the highway removed.

He also suggested police increased the $150 instant fine for poor driving to $1000.


Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller described the decision to re-evaluate the SH2 roading projects in the face of overwhelming evidence that the road needed fixing as a "disgrace".

"When the news of this latest fatality flashed up online it made me sick to my stomach.

"Part of the frustration and anger for me is that I have lived in this community since I was a boy and improving this road has been talked about for about 30 years."

Successive governments had all played their part in regard to various decisions about road safety improvement projects from Tauranga to Katikati, he said.

But at least the National Government got it to the point where we signed off on the project, and the tendering process had started before it was put on ice, he said.

"The Government just needs to front up and just do it, " Muller said.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said his thoughts were with those involved in Monday's fatal accident and their families.

"I understand some of the local community are frustrated with the delay caused by the NZ Transport Agency re-evaluating plans for SH2 from Waihi to Tauranga.

"In the meantime, the Government is investing $87 million in urgent safety improvements to this highway to save lives.

"This includes upgrading five intersections, road and shoulder widening, centreline widening, installing roadside safety barriers and a right-turn bay for Waimata School."

Twyford said the Transport Agency had assured him they were working hard to complete the re-evaluation process and safety along SH2 remained a top priority for the agency.

"It is important that the road safety experts at NZTA thoroughly consider all options and make the best decisions for the local community and visiting drivers," he said.

NZTA says the re-evaluation process would take up to four months.