Safe crossing on Kennedy

EVERY time Jan James steps out onto Kennedy Drive she worries it will be the last time.

And at the moment Ms James, a resident of the busy street, has to cross the road each day to get a bus into Tweed Heads.

She can't wait until the recently installed traffic lights near Limosa Road are working, replacing the dangerous pedestrian crossing where a man was killed earlier this year. "It's about time," Ms James said of the installation of the lights.

"It is long overdue. There is a heap of oldies who live around here and they really struggle to get across this road. I feel really sorry for them." On March 28 Raymond Porteous, 73, was struck by a car and killed while crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing. It is alleged that a school bus had stopped to allow Mr Porteous, who lived in a Kennedy Drive apartment, to cross when a car drove past the bus on the inside lane and struck him.

Due to the road's double lanes, pedestrians are often blocked from view by other vehicles. Ms James said cars often sped along the road and did not stop to let people cross.

"Even at the crossing they don't stop," she said.

"I don't know whether they even watch to see if anyone is there, and they get nasty and abusive if they have to stop."

Ms James has lived on Kennedy Drive since 2003 and has become accustomed to seeing the dangers of the crossing.

"The crossing is in a terrible spot because you can't see it. There have been a few fatalities," she said.

"The traffic is getting worse because they are developing further down the road. The lights should make a world of difference."

Another Kennedy Drive resident, Michelle Webster, said the lights would bring relief for many of the street's residents.

"There are people trying to cross there all the time," Ms Webster, 25, said.

"I've nearly taken someone out accidentally, so hopefully the lights will take over the zebra crossing."

Earlier this year, Kennedy Drive Motel lessee Ian Lambert told the Tweed Daily News that cars were always speeding along the road, especially during peak hour.

He said he had seen plenty of "near misses" when it came to the crossing and would not let his son use it because it was too dangerous.



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