Less than a fifth of pledged amount spent on making tourist routes safer

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When National was in Government, they announced they were going to spend $25 million on making roads popular with tourists safer. 

Two years later, only $4 million of that amount has been spent so far on the Visiting Drivers Project. 

The announcement from National came after a rise in crashes involving overseas drivers. 

NZ Transport Agency figures show $2.75 million has been spent on state highway work, $750,000 on an education and a social media campaign, and $500,000 on local roads.

Director of road safety group Brake Caroline Perry told Newsroom she was alarmed at how little has been spent. 

"With the number of deaths on our roads increasing, it's vital the Government is investing in infrastructure safety measures that are proven to reduce deaths and serious injuries, such as safety barriers." 

Last year, 29 out of 327 people were people killed in crashes involving overseas drivers. 

NZ Transport Agency's South Island director of regional relationships Jim Harland told Newsroom there were delays getting designs finalised and contractors organised.

He admitted that he wanted more progress to have been made by this stage.

The majority of the money has gone towards safety works, including rumble strips, no-passing lines and "keep left" arrows. 

Some of the money has also been used for a carpark, walkway, and new look-out area. 

Harland said the latter were put in place to stop tourists from stopping in unsafe places to take photographs. 

"You try to set it up so people make the right decisions."

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