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Havelock North courtesy crossing safety highlighted

HDC CourtesyCrossing sign

Pedestrians and motorists are being urged to look out for each other after some close calls reported on courtesy crossings at the main Havelock North village roundabout.

There are a number of raised, paved courtesy crossings on the roads attached to the roundabout, which while not full pedestrian crossings alert users that something is different.

Pedestrians do not have the right of way on these crossings - the road rules state that while motorists are obliged to be courteous, they are not obliged to stop.

The New Zealand Official Road Code describes courtesy crossings as: “made of bricks or paving and often raised above the level of the road.

“Although not official pedestrian crossings, they do provide a place for pedestrians to cross. Drivers should be courteous to pedestrians using a courtesy crossing”.

Because the paving stones on the crossings are the same as those used on the footpath it can cause confusion, but the footpath does not extend across the road.

To help make it clear and to encourage pedestrians to be ready to give way, and drivers to continue to be courteous, Hastings District Council will start installing signage and road markings from this week.

Permanent painted paving signs stating “LOOK” have been designed to catch the eye of someone looking down or straight ahead, as a cue to look up and look around for oncoming vehicles.

Posters are being installed on existing council-owned poles at the crossings.

Once awareness has grown, in about two to three months, the posters will be removed and only the pavement signs will remain.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said that while the courtesy crossings had meant the village was free of striped zebra crossings and buzzers, it was important that everyone took care to look out for each other.

“Both pedestrians and drivers should pause and try and catch each other’s eye so there’s no confusion around who’s going first.

“We want pedestrians to look out to keep themselves safe, look out to keep their children safe, and look out to keep their parents safe, so everyone gets where they want to go safely.”

The posters and painted pavements will start being rolled out from Wednesday, November 20.

20 November 2019

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