As Route 66 traverses America East to West, so does New Zealand’s State highway 1, but North to South, depending on your starting point. It is the topic of many life stories.
Like Route 66, it started life in bits, poorly made, following the land and progressively upgraded and overhauled as demand required over the years.
As New Zealand’s main trunk road, covering just over two thousand kilometres from tip to toe, it carries the responsibility for many stories of lives both loss and started.
The most recent of these losses is four lives lost in three crashes in 24 hours last week.
In the Waikato on SH1, two cars met head-on, with one driver dying at the scene.
In South Canterbury, a car and truck collided, with the car driver not surviving, and in South Dunedin also on SH1, two people died when a car and truck met head-on.
With two being car versus truck, and one being car versus car, State highway 1 is regularly the target of close scrutiny. With technology now able to CGI analyse road conditions on multiple fronts of traffic interaction, both theoretical and practical, it is devastating to still see such needless waste of life of late.
Let’s look forward to State Highway 1’s status being memorable and iconic rather than tragic.