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Does it require a death before the Tuross hwy intersection is improved?

Following on from the many recent accidents in proximity to the Princes Highway Hector McWilliam Drive intersection the new Chair to Eurobodalla Council’s Traffic Management Committee has included discussion of the intersection on the next general business section of their local traffic management meeting. The many previous incidents and accidents at the intersection the issue were raised by members of the Tuross Head community with the Traffic Management Committee under the chair of a previous councilor. The constant reply Council stood firm that the Princes Highway at this intersection is under RMS control ignoring the fact that the primary contributor to highway collisions was as a result of drivers leaving Hector McWilliam Drive that does come under their control. Council has already acknowledged that our road users are a steadily ageing demographic to such an extent that they have just received funding that is earmarked to educate older drivers. Tuross Head has the oldest average in the Shire and it is more than apparent that the Tuross intersection with the Highway is becoming a challenge to some. With increased traffic volumes along the Princes Highway the older members of the Shire, irrespective of what town they access the highway from, will be challenged. The RMS did carry out a site analysis of the Tuross/Princes highway intersection and approaches and found that there was no problem to solve in the way of reducing speeds in this area from 100 down to 80kmph as had been suggested by the community. The RMS, in the end stated that they would move the Tuross Head Ahead sign closer to the intersection and possibly increase the size of the Give Way sign so that shortsighted Turossians can see a larger sign and actually give way. The Tuross Head Progress Association raised the issue at its last meeting following on from a spate of near collisions in recent times. The THPA had been advised that the intersection had not been identified as a high priority in the past as there were few police statistics of collisions in the RMS database and it was collisions resulting in towing and ambulances that drives Black Spot funding. Fortunately recent accidents have not resulted in death however the mental health and physical wellbeing of many involved in the recent accidents is NOT to be underestimated. The RMS are of the opinion that road users need to apply due caution at this intersection and that there is no problem with sight distances or road geometry. There are many in the Tuross Head community who believe that the solution is the implementation of the “gull-wing” system already installed at both Dalmeny and Bingie turn-offs where the population is actually smaller than that of Tuross Head. More than $3 million has already been allocated to the Gilmore electorate for important road safety improvements as part of the Federal Government’s Black Spot Program. Chairman of the Black Spot Funding Committee, John Cobb MP, said (May 2016) effective lobbying from Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, helped secure such a strong allocation for her electorate. Hopefully the absolute and imminent danger of the Tuross Head intersection with the Princes Highway will attract our local Federal Minister's attention before it is too late.

#Opinion #Tuross #LeiParker #Council

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