Tweed's new black spot
SCENIC Drive at Bilambil has taken over Sexton Hill as the Tweed’s biggest black spot, according to Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Three vehicles have left the winding road and rolled down the steep embankment in just over a month.
All occupants have miraculously managed to escape without serious injuries, including a mother with a toddler and two people who had to be cut from their vehicles.
All the crashes have occurred on the same section of road, between Mount Bilinga Circuit and Simpson Drive, after light rainfall.
Mr Provest said something needs to be done about the treacherous road.
“I’ve been here 20-odd years and it’s just been a steady stream of crashes,” Mr Provest said.
“A wider cross-section of the community have been involved in the accidents with drivers of all ages, young and old, experienced and otherwise.
“As the population density grows it’s taken over from Sexton Hill as our black spot.”
Mr Provest said he will raise the issue at the next Tweed traffic committee meeting, which is made up of Mr Provest and representatives from Tweed Shire Council, the Road and Traffic Authority and Tweed Heads Police.
“I’ll be asking council if they have any extra funds,” he said.
“I’ll also apply to the state government for Black Spot Project funding.”
Community input is vital, Mr Provest said.
“The people that use Scenic Drive every day can suggest their options.
“I’ll be pushing hard for the committee to take up those options.
“I think we’ve got to look at all options and explore all possibilities to save human lives.”
Tweed Shire Council road safety officer Ray Clark said crash data showed 13 crashes were reported along Scenic Drive in 2008 with an average of eight crashes per year for 2006 to 2008.
“In 1998, Scenic Drive received Federal Black Spot funds to upgrade signs and line marking, install street lighting and the speed limit was reduced to 60km/h,” Mr Clark said.
“Speed surveys on Scenic Drive show that the majority of drivers are exceeding the posted speed limit of 60km/h.
“If drivers were to obey the speed limit our road would be a lot safer.”
Mr Clark said drivers do not obey the speed limit and reducing it further was unlikely to change driver behaviours dramatically.
“Enforcement of the existing speed limit will be discussed with local police.”
He added that apart from normal maintenance, there are no current plans for the upgrading of Scenic Drive.
“However, depending on future development in the area, new roads are planned to be constructed between Scenic Drive and Piggabeen Road which will reduce traffic volumes once they are connected,” Mr Clark said.
“Council is assessing the need for guardrails on Scenic Drive to determine its priority for installation. The outcome of this assessment is anticipated to be completed in early 2010 and possible funding sources then identified and prioritised.”
A spokesperson from the Road and Traffic Authority said they could not comment on the issue as Scenic Drive is a local road and under the jurisdiction of Tweed Shire Council.
Emergency service crews plead for people to slow down on the notorious road, especially in the wet.Number crunching:
Scenic Drive - 13
Terranora Road -21
Minjungbal Drive - 22
Kennedy Drive - 29
Tweed Valley Way - 30
Pacific Highway - 107
Statistics Tweed Shire Council 2008