Govt says motorists need to slow down at dangerous curve
DESPITE politicians calling for better signage and upgrades of a dangerous curve on Ballina Rd, Transport for NSW say speed was the biggest contributing factor to crashes and remain tight-lipped about road safety plans.
Transport for NSW data showed in the five years from 2014 to 2018 there have been six recorded crashes within approximately 200 metres of the Sunrise Circuit corner along the Bruxner Hwy at Goonellabah. All of these crashes occurred to the east of the intersection.
The data reported two crashes involved a heavy vehicle, and both involved a heavy truck travelling eastwards (a B-double and a semi-trailer) while speeding or travelling at an inappropriate speed.
Three of the six crashes involved vehicles travelling east (two serious casualty crashes and one other minor injury crash). The data reported all of the eastbound vehicle crashes were considered speed related. These three speeding vehicles would have travelled past the slow down sign prior Sunrise Cresent (corner).
The other three crashes involved a vehicle travelling west (two serious casualty crashes and one other minor injury crash).
The bend was now known to some as chicken coop corner after two trucks carrying a load of poultry rolled on the bend in 2018 and 2017. Last week a truck lost a load of scrap metal and marchinary parts on the curve.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Lismore mayor Isaac Smith have said they will keep advocating for more warning signs and upgrades to improve road safety.
A spokes woman for Transport for NSW said signs were installed in accordance with the requirements of Australian Standards 1742 Manual of Uniform traffic control devices.
“The speed warning sign for trucks may be used when there is a history of trucks toppling even when other required curve warning and delineation are provided,” the spokeswoman said.
“A review of this curve in 2019 found this would not be warranted at this location.”
There are currently 45km warning signs ahead of the corner north and south bound of the Ballina Rd bend.
Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon said speeding contributed to about 40 per cent of road fatalities – about 140 deaths and 4000 injuries each year.
“When the unexpected happens on the road – the speed that you’re travelling at matters. ‘Just a bit over’ can be the difference between being able to stop in time or not at all,” Mr Carlon said.
“All drivers have a responsibility to follow the road rules, and this includes sticking to the speed limit.”