A new road safety initiative rolls out in Eastern Bay of Plenty this week.

A New Zealand Transport Agency safety initiative aimed at reducing the crash rate on a stretch of State Highway 30 between Rotorua and Whakatane will be rolled out this week.

Wide centre line markings will be painted on sections of State Highway 30 west of Te Teko following reseal work in the area.

The new, wide centre lines will incorporate two painted lines approximately 80cm apart to provide greater separation between each lane of the road.


Like a regular centre line, the markings will be painted as a series of dashed white lines on sections of the highway where overtaking is allowed and as solid yellow lines in no overtaking areas.

The Agency's Bay of Plenty highway manager Niclas Johansson said the new wide centre line would help separate vehicles and reduce the risk of crashes, and increase safety on that stretch of road.

"Since 2009 there has been 15 crashes on this stretch of State Highway 30. Of these, five crashes involved vehicles that had crossed the centre line," he said.

"The extra space in the middle of the road created by the wide centre lines will give motorists more time to react and recover if they make a mistake."

The markings have been successfully trialled at 15 sites around New Zealand as part of Safer Journeys, the Government's road safety strategy.

Mr Johansson said the Transport Agency had studied the trial sites for three years and data indicated that installing a wide centre line would reduce injuries and head-on crashes by 66 per cent and all crashes by 21 per cent.

"The expectation is that this initiative will help to improve safety in the future."