Duplicate or slow down
RESIDENTS are fighting for a dual highway from Leongatha to Lang Lang along the South Gippsland Highway.
Many locals are fed up with impatient drivers speeding along the highway and compromising the safety of fellow motorists.
“They go through the highway like it’s a speedway,” Lang Lang’s Laura Ellett said.
Ms Ellett is particularly fearful of the highway. Her driveway is nearly impossible to enter or exit during peak hour traffic and, now with a baby in her car, she is more aware of the danger she faces.
“I can’t drive into my own driveway without fear of being hit. It’s scary,” she told The Star.
“Just three weeks after the fatality on this road, my sister was a victim of another accident.
“She had her indicator on to turn into my driveway but the car behind her thought she was just slowing down. As she went to turn into my driveway, the other driver tried to overtake and T-boned her. Luckily no one was badly injured.”
The only solution Ms Ellett can see is to duplicate the highway.
She along, with Poowong CFA volunteer Krystal Clark, recently put up a Facebook page called “South Gippsland Highway should be a dual lane road for safety” to help their campaign.
To their surprise, they had 1500 Facebook followers within a week.
“It’s not just the local community supporting us, it’s all road users,” Ms Ellett said.
“We have people as far as Yarram sharing their stories.”
There are all types of traffic sharing the single lane highway including trucks, cars and tractors. It is crucial to obey the road laws.
“Lots of people stop paying attention. They put on cruise control and they don’t care. It’s not ideal on this sort of road,” Ms Clark said.
As a CFA volunteer, Ms Clark is well aware of the amount of call outs the Loch and Poowong units attend and wants to encourage all drivers to slow down.
“The numbers would be in the hundreds over the past five years,” she said.
“This road gets the Prom traffic, the traffic to Inverloch instead of going through Wonthaggi and, of course, the Friday night traffic from Melbourne. Everyone needs to drive a bit safer.”
Ms Ellett said she witnessed some road rage near her property on Mother’s Day. Cars were continuously honking a slower car ahead, which was travelling just under the speed limit.
“It can very dangerous, especially if they don’t know if there’s a tractor on the road,” she said.
“We operate a dairy farm and there’s a beef farm next door. We have stockfeed trucks and milk trucks coming and going all the time. There’s lots going on and drivers need to be more aware.”
The women have worked hard to get the wider community on board with their campaign and hope to go to Bass MLA Brian Paynter for extra support.
VicRoads has shown empathy towards the pair and have listened to their pleas for action.
A traffic counter was installed outside Ms Ellett’s property last week.
“Hopefully VicRoads see this as a priority and we see some action,” Ms Clark said.
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