More potholes on NZ roads a safety issue, AA says

Source: Seven Sharp

Potholes are one of the banes of New Zealand roads and if you think you’re seeing more of them, you probably are.

Tyre repair shops Seven Sharp spoke to say there's been a huge increase and they're causing major damage when they're hit at speed by unsuspecting drivers.

Tyre replacement costs can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1000.

So who's to blame and who should pay for the damage to your car?

AA road safety expert Dylan Thomsen says drivers are rarely able to claim compensation for damage caused by potholes.

“Short answer is you can try but you’re unlikely to be successful. There’s been some rare cases where people have managed to do it but you need exceptional circumstances.

“Essentially – simply there being a pothole in the road and you having hit it is not going to be enough,” he said.

Thomsen says potholes are a “big issue” from a road safety point of view, because they pose a risk for cyclists and motorcyclists, where if they hit a pothole at speed, there’s “a lot of risk of losing control”.

He says if the deterioration of New Zealand’s road network continues, we will have to pay for it down the track.

Thomsen says although the current Government has invested $500 million into road maintenance, there needs to be “significantly more”.

He advises people to stick to the speed limit and if they see potholes to contact local authorities like Waka Kotahi if it’s on a highway and the council if it’s on a local road.