New commercial vehicle safety centre coming to SH1/3

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 22, 2023

Construction will soon get underway on the new commercial vehicle safety centre that’s set to be built outside RNZAF Base Ohakea, in Manawatū.

The facilities are part of the national Commercial Vehicle Safety Programme, which is developing an integrated network of cameras, weigh in motions and safety centres covering strategic routes across New Zealand. The facilities aim to improve road safety, ensure a level playing field for industry and encourage compliant vehicle productivity.

The new CVSC will replace the old New Zealand Police weigh station on State Highway 1/3 near Bulls. It is one of 12 facilities Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is building on high-volume freight routes around the country for the NZ Police to operate.

The CVSC sites use advanced integrated roadside technology to screen passing vehicles 24/7, such as weigh-in-motion or in-road scales, automatic number plate recognition cameras and electronic signs.

Any potentially unsafe or non-compliant vehicles are directed into a CVSC, and Police officers can undertake checks on vehicle weight, road user charges, certificate of fitness, logbook and driver impairment, and the information gathered 24/7 is used to understand trends and focus on operator risk.

The new, high-tech facility will be built on Pukenui Road, outside the air force base. This location is where a new permanent double-laned roundabout and shared user path is also being constructed as part of a separate safety improvement project, which is due to be completed in mid-2024.

Waka Kotahi said the location has been chosen for a CVSC site because it is a vital link to the central and lower North Island and is a high-volume freight route with more than 2000 heavy vehicles passing daily.

The construction of the new permanent roundabout on the state highway also means trucks can safely enter the site from both directions.

Everyday motorists will not be directed into a CVSC when they’re passing. Light vehicles will have their licence plates scanned and information is anonymised within seconds of being captured to maintain privacy. The exception to this is in the case of stolen vehicles.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Programme Manager Sean Bridge said the programme supports the Road to Zero strategy and the Waka Kotahi aim for a road system free of death and serious injury.

“It will help deliver a more level playing field for the heavy vehicle industry and improve road safety outcomes across the transport system,” he said.

“Enforcing weight restrictions and other forms of non-compliance, safe driving practices and road-ready vehicles is an integral part of keeping all road users safe and protecting the road network from damage.”

Downer is the contractor for the Ohakea CVSC.