Cap Hwy crossroad seeks safe solution
IT HAS to change. That's the message from the Central Highlands community following the death of Lee Shrimp at the crossroad at Capricorn Highway and Anakie-Sapphire Rd in December.
Resident of 53 years, Ed Harvey is spear-heading a campaign to make the road safer.
"I knew Lee through my sister's eldest son, after he was killed I thought something has to be done,” he said.
"There's three or four bad prangs every year.”
"We all know about it but no one seems to do anything.”
Led by calls from the community, Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar wrote to the Department of Transport and Main Roads about the need for urgent action.
"This is just the latest in a long series of instances and we need urgent action to prevent further tragedy,” he said.
"This intersection is a vital one for locals, but it also caters to many tourists on driving holidays. These visitors include foreign nationals who may not be used to driving on the left side of the road. It also includes many people towing caravans who do not normally tow loads.
"If you look at the intersection in these terms it is clearly inadequate. There is only a Give Way sign, rather than a stop sign.
"There are not adequate warnings on the side roads so that drivers know they are approaching a major highway intersection. Even the normal contrast in road width that tells you that you are moving from a secondary road to a state highway is lacking.”
Crossroad resident Ray Richardson has lived at the intersection for 26 years and said it was an issue that needed to be addressed.
"There are a lot of near-misses,” he said.
"I hear the screeching of breaks, it happens a fair bit. People from out of town don't know they are coming up to a major intersection.”
This week Mr Millar met with Mr Harvey, Mr Richardson and Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes to discuss what could be done. A number of suggestions were made and the need for urgent action was reiterated.
As a minimum, they decided, the department should urgently look at stop signs, rumble strips and warning signs with LED lighting on Anakie-Sapphire Rd. While in the future, the group suggested a round-about would be the best option.
CQ News asked the Department of Transport and Main Roads if it was aware of the dangerous crossroad and if changes will be implemented. A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said "we investigate every fatal crash on a state-controlled road”.
"The safety of all road users is our top priority,” the spokesperson said.
"The posted speed limit for the Capricorn Highway was reduced to 80km/h (from 100km/h) in 2007-08 in recognition of traffic volumes at the intersection.
"We are working with Queensland Police Service to finalise the investigation into the crash on the Capricorn Highway in December 2016.”