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Risky intersections need safety overhaul

DANGEROUS intersections in South Gippsland risk causing more injuries and even fatalities without roadworks to improve public safety.
There are 18 intersections in South Gippsland and Bass Coast shires where three or more crashes occurred between 2013 and 2017, according to VicRoads.
Intersections with restricted visibility are posing a danger, with limited sight distance leaving little to no room for driver error.
Numerous incidents have occurred at the Leongatha South intersection of Leongatha South-Outtrim Road, Rougheads Road and Bass Highway intersection over the years
The intersection of Andersons Road and Bass Highway at Leongatha is worrying locals. Leongatha’s Darryl Hunt recently had a fright when two cars overtook him on both sides while he was on the highway, ready to turn into Andersons Road.
“They shot past me at a high speed. If I didn’t see them, they would have taken me out,” he said.
Just out of Leongatha, the intersection of Bass Highway and Simons Lane is near a crest, and was labelled “dangerous” by Simons Lane resident Phillip Hopwood.
“I’ve never had any hassle with it but when I’m driving out of Simons Lane onto the Bass Highway heading into Leongatha, I have to take off really quick because vehicles come fast over the hill,” he said.
“You have just got to go fast once you get out onto the highway and give yourself a bit of time.”
Police would like to see the number of collisions at intersections drop further.
Bass Coast Highway Patrol Sergeant Peter Pearce said any road safety improvements would be welcome and urged drivers to remain vigilant behind the wheel.
“Whilst we acknowledge that at times the environment can play a part, and we are always working with our road safety partners to improve in this area, we must stress the vast majority of collisions are avoidable and the most common cause of collisions are human error,” he said.
“A recurring theme with many collisions is they involve local people on local roads getting injured or killed, as complacency and the tendency to ‘zone out’ due to familiarity occurs.
“We also see some drivers that are distracted by phones or other devices that take their attention away from the main task of operating the car safely.”
Sgt Pearce urged drivers concerned about the safety of intersections to report them to VicRoads.
VicRoads said South Gippsland accounted for only 12 percent of all road trauma in Gippsland from 2013 to 2017 and Bass Coast accounted for 10 percent.
VicRoads Eastern Region director Scott Lawrence said, “Improving road safety across Gippsland is our priority.
“We have either completed, are in the process of completing or are currently planning improvements on a number of intersections in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland council areas.”
South Gippsland Shire Council’s manager infrastructure planning Tony Peterson said council has a ranking system for intersection works based on such criteria as number of accidents, complaints, council inspection and traffic volumes, including percentage of heavy vehicles.
However council has no intersection works proposed in its forward budgets apart from general routine maintenance works.
“There is possible future funding for rural intersections under the TAC/VicRoads Safe System Road Infrastructure Program which is being made available for local roads from 2018-19,” Mr Peterson said.
No improvement works are proposed for one of Leongatha’s most hectic intersections, that of Peart and Smith streets.
Bass Coast Shire Council has identified intersections for works based on community feedback.
Next financial year, council aims to improve the intersections of A’Beckett and Reilly streets in Inverloch, The Crescent and Halford streets in Inverloch, and Dickson, Stewart and Matthew streets in Wonthaggi.

Close call: a truck and sedan collided at the intersection of Koonwarra Road, and Long, Bair and Ogilvy streets in Leongatha in August 2017. The junction is one of the town’s busiest.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25376

Posted by on Jul 10 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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