Auckland drivers are already fed up battling traffic congestion. Then a recent Southern Motorway bridge strike heightened those frustrations.
Few in Auckland escaped the chaos after an over-height crane slammed into an overbridge, blocking the Southern Motorway for hours. Though the accident happened in the early afternoon, commuters trying to get home from the central city that night still faced traffic jams.
Video footage showing police officers trying to sweep up glass at the scene with a worn broom and a plastic bucket in the aftermath of the accident hardly offered reassurance that the authorities were adequately equipping front-line motorway staff to deal with episodes such as this.
The accident highlighted the increasing number of huge trucks and trailers on our motorways — while the driver in this case appears to be copping much of the blame, the hundreds of thousands of people whose day was disrupted will be eager to see where final responsibility lies and what the consequences are.
The driver has been charged over the incident.
The vast majority of heavy truck drivers are among the most considerate and skilled on the roads but the road transport industry and transport authorities cannot ignore a rising tide of frustration fuelled by episodes like that of this week.
The lifeblood of the country’s largest city should not depend on a bucket and broom.