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Logging trucks making NZ roads unsafe


Three logging trucks rolled on bends in New Zealand’s Whangarei in one week and police said speed and possibly fatigue were factors in the crashes. Source: Radio New Zealand

Kim Simpson, who lives above a blind bend on Patutahi Road, said at least three people had been run off the road by log trucks, including her husband on his quad bike, and the rural delivery contractor.

She said the trucks swung out wide onto the wrong side of the road to take the bend at 40 kilometres per hour, when they should be doing no more than 20 to give oncoming traffic a change to dodge them.

Mrs Simpson said the local postie drove into trees in a paddock and her husband was able to veer onto a narrow verge, but on the other side of the bend there was a steep drop – and a crash there would likely be fatal.

She said there should be a speed limit of 20km per hour on the bend and the many others like it.

Meanwhile, a resident of Portland near Whangarei said arrogant truck drivers were making Northland roads increasingly unsafe for other road-users.

Debbie Pitman said the intersection of Portland Road with State Highway 1 had always been an accident black spot. But with growing numbers of log-trucks on already congested roads, she said the situation had become a nightmare.

Mrs Pitman said she sat at the intersection for 10 minutes one morning this week, waiting for a chance to turn right. But a log truck pulled up on her left, blocking her view and she had to wait another 10 minutes, to get onto the highway. She said she tooted at the driver, and he responded with an obscene hand gesture.

Mrs Pitman said there would be 100 more trucks on the highway come spring, when KiwiRail scrapped the freight train that takes logs to the chipmill at Portland.