AMI and Canterbury local team up to help save lives on New Zealand roads
Dan Harker is a police Sergeant based in Canterbury. After 31 years of attending hundreds of serious and fatal crashes, he decided that we needed to do much more to save lives on New Zealand roads. The catalyst was an accident that happened in rural Canterbury back in 2014, where a motorist failed to see a stop sign and drove into another car, killing a mother, her 12-year-old daughter and her daughter’s 12-year-old friend.
“Something's got to come from [these tragedies], so let's change the roading system and make it a little bit smarter."
– Dan Harker
And change it he did. After conducting some research, he found an emerging trend in the use of vehicle activated warning lights. There was no off-the-shelf solution so Dan used his kiwi ingenuity and partnered with Solar Bright and Fulton Hogan to produce them himself.
The signs are powered through solar technology which mean they’re energy efficient and really cost effective. They’re placed 200 metres before a stop sign at the intersection and LED lights flash orange when they detect an oncoming car within 130 metres. The flashing lights grab the driver’s attention, warning them that an intersection is coming so they can prepare to stop.
A safer community
On the search for funding, Dan approached AMI. AMI’s commitment to helping make our communities safer made this the perfect fit and it was clear what impact these signs could have on the lives of New Zealanders. Using NZTA data and AMI claims statistics, an 18-month trial was approved for three dangerous intersections in the South Island. The trial ended in October 2017.
And we’re thrilled to announce a 100% success rate for the trial, with crash statistics at the trial sites dropping from 11 serious accidents in three years prior to installation, to zero in the two years since installation. As you can imagine – Dan’s pretty stoked about it! With the help of the NZTA and AMI, Dan’s Advanced Warning Signs will continue to be trialled at other intersections.
Thank you Dan!
We’re incredibly proud to get behind Dan and his awesome advanced warning signs – helping to make our world a safer place, one intersection at a time.