NZ’s most dangerous intersections – but we’re on the list only 4 times

Wellington has missed out on being named in a top ten list. As it’s a list of New Zealand’s most dangerous intersections, we should be pleased. But when you expand the list to 100, it’s a different story.

Thirty-second on the high-risk list: the corner of Victoria Street and the Karo Drive bypass. This intersection is the responsibility of the NZ Transport Agency, and every city driver is aware of its inadequacies.

In the ten years between 2003 and 2012, it has had 23 crashes involving injuries. Of this total, 21 were minor, one was serious and one was fatal. The injuries involved 36 people.

The current scramble to add extra lanes at the notorious stop-start intersection doesn’t offer any reason to think that it’ll become any better.

In the greater Wellington region, Upper Hutt has the worst intersection according to the list released today by the Transport Agency.

Coming in at 15th position is the intersection of SH 2 (River Road) and Whakatiki Street in Upper Hutt. Another intersection which is the responsibility of the Transport Agency. Over ten years, it’s had 17 crashes in which 25 people were injured. No deaths.

Scroll down to 43rd position, and Wellington is on the list again. The intersection of Courtenay Place and Taranaki Street is New Zealand’s 43rd most dangerous intersection, with a record of 28 accidents involving injuries, seven of them serious and one fatal. The injuries involved thirty people.

Wellington’s last appearance is at number 86 – the intersection of Ghuznee Street and Cuba Street. Its record shows a total of 16 accidents causing injuries, three of them serious. This is one intersection which traffic has been calmed in recent years.

Auckland has the greatest number of high-risk intersections. It’s listed more than 30 times in the top 100. Another reminder of why we wouldn’t want to move north.

NZ Herald: Map of the high-risk intersections



  1. Kent Duston, 28. March 2014, 16:03

    What’s interesting about the list is not that the Taranaki/Courtenay intersection is a danger spot – it’s that the WCC traffic engineers say they’ve fixed it!

    Yet the independent safety review the council commissioned when they changed the intersection as part of the Golden Mile alterations tells an entirely different story. The safety engineer said the council should install traffic calming measures, increase the size of the median islands and install a “Barnes Dance” pedestrian phase because of the number of people crossing on foot.

    In response, the council removed the median islands, increased the number of traffic lanes and decreased the pedestrian phases. If that’s their idea of a fix, I’d hate to see what a deliberate decision to make things worse would look like.

    So I predict that in another ten years time, the same intersection will still be in the top 100 for deaths and injuries, because whatever the WCC traffic engineers’ priorities are, safety clearly isn’t one of them.

  2. Maximus, 28. March 2014, 20:54

    Aaah, Kent, there is truth in that comment, but also it is missing some facts. Taranaki / Courtenay is one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in the city, not just by cars, but also by drunk people. Let’s face it – it’s in the centre of the entertainment district, and pissed idiots are everywhere on a Friday night, and no drunkard on the lag wants to wait at a set of lights for a little green man. It’s the only intersection in the world where I have had an inebriated pedestrian sit down on my car bonnet, halfway across the road. The road is wide, the distances to cross are tempting to be jaywalked, and the pubs line all the street edges nearby. This just might have something to do with the accident rate there…

  3. Elaine Hampton, 28. March 2014, 22:56

    The WCC is promoting the entertainment district as a business friendly policy. It is therefor lunacy to introduce through-traffic movements that are going to result in client damage. These safety measures should have been put in.
    In fact remove cars completely. We are not short of a whacking great road just parallel along the waterfront.

  4. Kent Duston, 31. March 2014, 12:59

    Max – I’ve also seen some pretty … interesting … behaviours on that intersection. But the presence of the pubs, the inebriated passers by and the sheer volume of pedestrians is not exactly new news; it’s been that way for decades. Which is presumably why the independent safety assessment said there should be more traffic calming, traffic islands and a Barnes Dance phase.

    But that’s the antithesis of WCC’s traffic planning. In their world, pedestrians are a problem to be managed rather than legitimate stakeholders whose interests should be given equal weight to car drivers. Which is why WCC have systematically removed pedestrian crossings, replaced malls with roads, and then blamed the victims for WCC’s design failings.

    So the idea that they’ve “fixed” the intersection to be safer only makes sense if you’re exclusively concerned about people in cars … as WCC appear to be.


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