Unsafe roads spark concern

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council’s 2019 to 2023 Road Safety Strategy will be developed before the end of the year, informed by a recent survey and community consultation session.
The session was held last Thursday evening, with four people voicing their opinion on the state of South Gippsland’s roads.
Council coordinator of community strengthening Ned Dennis said the strategy would inform the council on “how we use what we have got, not how we build the roads”.
“By the end of the year, we will have a plan on how we shape road safety going forward,” he said.
A public survey received more than 400 responses.
Facilitator John Poynton from Safe System Solutions said feedback received from the public was about the poor quality of the region’s roads.
“I was not surprised people are concerned about the poor road surface, but it is not the biggest cause of accidents,” he said.
Last Thursday, conversation revolved around four safe system elements: safer people, safer speeds, safer roads and safer vehicles.
The safe system approach is based around the State Government’s Towards Zero plan. In South Gippsland, fatal accidents and accidents resulting in serious injury are spread out across the whole shire, with most crashes involving a single car leaving the road.
From December 2016 to November 2017, there were 15 serious accidents on South Gippsland roads, compared to 52 the year before. Around two thirds of those accidents occurred on VicRoads managed roads.
“People make mistakes, but dying is a high price to pay for those mistakes. No death is acceptable and we need to talk about what we can do to stop it,” Mr Poynton said.
“There are three main things to consider: how we stop crashes occurring, how we minimise trauma if a crash does occur and how we share the responsibility of road safety.”
Kardella livestock transporter Mick Debenham said one of the major issues on the road was driver attitude.
“The impatience and selfishness of drivers is a huge problem,” he said.
“Personally, I think the shire’s roads have maintained their standard; it is the major highways that are in shambles.”
Mr Debenham said road users, whether in a car, on a bike or in a truck, need to be more willing to share the responsibility of road safety.
Bill Maddocks from Binginwarri said no one was interested in addressing the issue of poor driver education.
“We do not train our drivers properly. Learners are being taught by their mums and dads but they can’t drive either. Education hasn’t kept up with road conditions or vehicle technology,” he said.
Steve Hudson from Leongatha said after completing his motorbike licence course recently, he has become a better driver.
“The whole course talked about safety. How to read the road and the road condition, how to judge the road camber, and situation awareness,” he said.
“It was really helpful and has helped make me a better driver.”
The completed road safety strategy will be available in early 2019.

Safety talk: back, from left, Russell Shepherd from Leongatha, Bill Maddocks from Binginwarri, Steve Hudson from Leongatha and Mick Debenham from Kardella talk to South Gippsland Shire Council road safety officer John Ernst and facilitator John Poynton from Safe System Solutions about road safety last Thursday night.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25219

Posted by on Jun 26 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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