B-double driver joins long crash list
By MARY MANN
THERE has been yet another truck accident on the Pacific Highway this time it was a B-double which ran off the road at a known black spot near Broadwater yesterday.
Authorities said it was too early to tell what had caused the crash, but it was just the latest in a long list of accidents involving trucks on the North Coast in recent months.
The spate of crashes has sparked renewed calls for the long-awaited upgrades of the Pacific Highway to be completed as soon as possible
But the RTA says most accidents are not just due to the state of our roads. The problem is also driver behaviour, it says.
The RTA says many accidents are the result of drivers failing to stay within the speed limit. However, there is no suggestion yesterday's accident was caused by speed.
Yesterday's accident happened about 3.30am, 5km south of the Broadwater, in the same area as a truck accident several weeks ago.
The 29-year-old driver was taken to Lismore Base Hospital with minor injuries.
Ross Hansen, captain of the Woodburn Rural Fire Service Brigade, said the highway was closed while emergency workers cleaned an oil spill from the road.
For the next 12 hours, north and south-bound traffic was let through alternately.
"It looked like the truck just ran off the west side of the highway," Mr Hansen said. "The contents of the rear trailer spilled out, but it didn't go on the road.
"They were things like CDs and computer games."
A recent Australian Road Assessment Program report rates the Pacific Highway as the worst in Australia.
And the 27km stretch from Ballina to Ewingsdale was given only a two-star rating, meaning it has poor line marking, poor horizontal alignment and few overtaking opportunities.
An RTA spokesperson said it highlighted the need for Federal funding of the national road network.
He said major safety improvements to highways had, in part, led to a reduction in last year's State road toll.
The Federal and NSW governments will spend $331 million building the Ballina bypass. The Tintenbar-Ewingsdale section is also in the planning stage, with $10.3 million already spent.