Horizontal rumble strips sample Horizontal rumble strips sample CREDIT: Dog & Lemon Guide
Highway rumble strips sample Highway rumble strips sample CREDIT: Dog & Lemon Guide

Waitomo crash was preventable

Monday 24 September 2012, 3:45PM
By Dog & Lemon Guide

The recent tragic crash at an intersection near Waitomo Caves might have been avoided if the driver had been alerted by rumble strips on the road, says the car review website

A major American study of the use of rumble strips at rural intersections concluded that there is:

“compelling evidence that in-lane rumble strips promote safer stopping behavior on approaches to stop-controlled intersections… Drivers reduced speed earlier and to a greater extent at rural intersec­tions with rumble strips.” editor Clive Matthew-Wilson believes rumble strips might also have prevented the recent deaths of three foreign students at Turangi, which occurred when the driver drifted off the side of the road.

“The New Zealand government’s own studies show that rumble strips are highly effective at alerting drivers to potentional hazards, such as drifting out of their lane."

"Compared to most road-building projects, rumble strips are also very cheap. Yet they weren't installed on the road where the students died.”

Matthew-Wilson cautions:

“Rumble strips have to be installed correctly. At present, rumble strips are sometimes installed at the side of the road, in order to warn motorists who are accidentally drifting out of their lane. Because rumble strips are unpleasant to ride over, the presence of rumble strips on a cycleway tends to push cyclists out into the path of passing traffic. It doesn’t have to be this way.”