New Road Markings Trial


Would new centre line markings  make rural roads safer?

NZTA is to experiment. The new road markings will provide greater separation between each lane of the highway.  A median approximately one metre wide 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. In places, rumble strips will supplement the markings.

A study by NZTA has indicated that installing a one metre wide centreline reduces head-on crashes by 70%, and reduces loss of control crashes by 70%.

On Tuesday of next week, road workers will apply the new markings on a high accident area of SH22 between MacPherson Road and Glenbrook Road which carries an average of 22,000 vehicles daily.

The trial is one of many initiatives on busy rural state highways throughout the country says the NZTA’s  State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.

As part of an investigation into optimal passing solutions for SH22, the new line markings will be monitored for effectiveness with data collection surveys carried out both before and after the safety measures are installed.

The existing westbound Ngakoroa passing lane between Jesmond Road and Woodlyn Road will be removed as it has no shoulder and is too short to allow safe overtaking manoeuvres. A two metre wide shoulder is being added to this location, with the aim of improving cyclist amenity/safety along this route.

Further safety measures to be introduced to SH22 include a new roundabout to be constructed in at the Glenbrook Road intersection later this year.
Streetlight improvements are also planned in the first half of 2011 between the proposed Glenmore Road roundabout, and the existing 70/100 km/h speed limit change near Jesmond Road. New LED streetlights will also be installed to improve safety and reduce night time crashes.

The LED street lighting, which is more energy efficient and eco-friendly, will be white, not yellow, to provide better visibility of colours at night. The light intensity will be able to be dimmed when appropriate to further conserve energy. Conversely, the lighting will be able to be brought up to full power during adverse weather conditions or in the event of an incident.




  1. Brent C says:

    They did this on Wainui Road between Gisborne and Wainui (as shown in the picture). Someone forgot to tell NZTA that cyclists use the road as well! It has been a nightmare and Wainui residents have been pushing NZTA for a cycleway, but the funding was removed for pointless holiday highway north of Auckland.

  2. mark says:

    That only makes sense to publicise as a new measure if they are doing it while narrowing the existing traffic lanes - because the fact that so called “flush medians” reduce traffic crashes is common sense, and old news (and well-researched to boot, including in NZ).

    So if they are only doing it where widening is possible / the road widths allow normal-width lanes PLUS the median strip, then it’s really just another safety initiative as usual.

    On the other hand, if they decided to narrow the lanes for this new median, then that’s a great idea - because it will also provide some psychological effect on speed as well as keeping vehicles away from opposing cars.

  3. mark says:

    Fair point, Brent C, if they reduced the verges for it. Law of unintended consequences…

  4. Glen K says:

    Feedback about this was sought by NZTA from the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) and many of their local groups; it has also been passed on to BikeNZ. One key requirement is that there must still be at least 1.0m of shoulder remaining after the re-marking, so that cyclists aren’t totally squeezed out (not ideal I know, but even having 1m is relatively good in many places).
    CAN also suggested that the traffic lanes should be narrowed a little for the same safety/speed reasons mentioned, but NZTA always seem reluctant about this.
    Remember that it’s still all a trial and so feedback is wanted by NZTA - if it’s a total stuff-up they could always go back to the old layout.

  5. Scott says:

    I strongly support using a different style of center line on two way roads to single way 2 lane roads (i.e.dual carriageway, motorway, passing lane). There is a possibility for confusion using the same line type for both situations.

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by South We Go (En), AKT. AKT said: Would better road markings make roads safer? NZTA is to experiment #auckland [...]

  7. Antz says:

    I agree with scott, we need a different style centre line for a Motorway/Expressway/Freeway, In christchurch most of the motorways are just 2 lanes wide.

    maybe longer lines with a shorter gap like in england? or massive long thick lines like in Japan.

    Botts dots don’t sperate well because they are used on normal roads as well.

  8. Antz says:

    Jon is NZTA making any diagrams of the porposed lines? because i like seeing what it would actually look like.

  9. richard says:

    This should not be done if there is no shoulder for cyclists. They say “give cyclists 1.5″ and now suggest a marking that encourages going closer when overtaking cyclists.

    Many safe cycling roads have been made dangerous by cutting lane widths and adding flush medians, with pedestrian refuges compounding the problem.

    A case of fixing one problem and creating one possibly even worse!. With many rural roads the lanes are not physically wide enough to “give a metre away”

    Why not try getting people to drive safely? Roads are used by trucks, cars, m/cycles, bicycles, horse riders and pedestrians. None of these categories mix well with any of the others and without making a separate road or path for all the categories, which is impossible, our roads have to be designed as safe as possible for ALL USERS.

    We have to learn to drive, ride or walk in a manner that is safe and doesn’t impede others passage.

  10. DanC says:

    Stupid drivers cause the majority of crashes. It’s been in the news today. So why give them a license back? Driving is not a right if you can’t do it properly. You can adjust all the roads you want, idiots will still be idiots.

  11. Brent C says:

    I think overall it is a good idea but the Gisborne example best example to base anything on. This is the only route and there are plenty of cyclists that come in from the beach. NZTA didn’t think much before painting these lines on the road and only caused more anger to those out at Wainui Beach. Most wanted a 70kph to make it safer for cyclists, instead but ended up with narrower road widths.

    I could see this working better in crash prone areas in the South Waikato and Dome Valley

  12. Matt says:

    I’d like it if they found better paint than that used currently, which becomes nearly invisible when the road is wet and there are street lights. Many times I’ve become disoriented as to lane directions because the reflected light from the wet road is exactly the same colour as the painted lines.

  13. Antz says:

    I wish they would use the same colours as well, ethier white or yellow.

    l like the Australian and South African Marking designs much better than ours.

  14. Karlos says:

    Just found this article.

    I have for years thought that the broken lines separating lanes should be white when seperating lanes heading in the same direction and yellow when seperating lanes heading in opposite directions.

    Makes it easy to spot at a glance what lanes are heading which way.


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