Intersection still of concern

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Crashes and near misses are still taking place at a Geraldine blackspot despite alterations to rectify the problem.
The intersection at Coach, Tiplady and Geraldine-Winchester Rds was still of concern among members of the public and the town’s community board.
One of the main problems involved some motorists failing to stop at the intersection.
There have been six crashes at the intersection since July 2011. Two of those were last year, both caused by a driver failing to give way.
Members of the Geraldine Community Board raised the issue at one of its meetings recently.
Geraldine ward councillor Kerry Stevens said although some alterations had been made to the layout of the intersection over recent years, grit added to the road and extra large stop signs put in place, the area was still of concern.
‘‘There are a few things that have been done, but it still is a concern, I have to say.
‘‘I’ve personally seen vehicles drive straight through the intersection without stopping. It’s only been good luck that they haven’t caused an accident.’’
Mr Stevens said the problem was not helped by GPS devices sending people along the route from Christchurch to the Mackenzie District. A lot of those drivers were tourists who were unfamiliar with the road, he said.
The intersection would be confusing to motorists who were not familiar with it and while it was possibly a ‘‘marginally’’ shorter route, it was not the safest, he said.
‘‘Some of them get it badly wrong.’’
Other options for motorists were to turn at Orari or Rangitata.
Mr Stevens said more engineering concepts could possibly be adopted at the problematic intersection to make it safer, but he believed driver behaviour also played a role.
‘‘Driver behaviour has to play a part as well. When [a sign] says ‘stop’, it doesn’t mean drive on through. Sure [you can] put in an overbridge [but] you are still relying on people to do the right thing.’’
Geraldine resident John Rule said it would be much safer for motorists to turn at Rangitata, a route which would also benefit the town through more people passing through it. He hoped GPS companies could change their systems to make that happen.
‘‘I’ve seen some close shaves,’’ he said.
One of those events involved a truck and a car.
They managed to get around each other due to ‘‘pure luck’’, he said.
‘‘It’s a crazy intersection down there.’’