Road safety  |  20 Dec 2021

The unauthorised shifting of road cones at a busy Burnside intersection may have led to an early morning crash.

Christchurch City Council put a temporary traffic management plan in place at the intersection of Grahams Road and Memorial Avenue on Friday 17 December because the traffic signals were malfunctioning.

The temporary traffic management plan restricts movements across the intersection and introduces a 30km per hour speed limit.

However, shortly after 7am this morning someone moved the road cones that had been placed to stop vehicles on Grahams Road from being able to proceed across Memorial Avenue so that they, and other drivers, could drive through the intersection, rather than having to turn left and take a different route.

This created an unsafe situation and about 30 minutes later two vehicles crashed. The Council understands that at least one person was injured.

Council Transport Operations Manager Steffan Thomas says there is surveillance footage of the traffic management cones being moved and the incident has been referred to the Police.

“The temporary traffic management at that intersection was put in place for safety reasons. We are very concerned that someone has taken it upon themselves to move cones for their own convenience; they have put people at risk and it is unacceptable,’’ Mr Thomas says.

There are significant penalties for interfering with traffic management – you can be imprisoned or fined.  If it can be proven that someone acted with reckless disregard for people’s safety, they could find themselves sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

Mr Thomas says the cones have been reinstated at the Grahams Road/Memorial Avenue intersection and additional fencing put in place.

“We will be keeping a close eye on the intersection to make sure that we don’t see a repeat of this morning’s incident. If anyone does notice someone interfering with any traffic management, we would advise that they call the police immediately.’’

The temporary traffic management at the intersection could be in place for several weeks. This means that people travelling on Grahams Road cannot proceed across Memorial Avenue; they need to turn left at the intersection. Right turns are prohibited.