26 May 2021

No time like the present when it comes to saving lives on Eurobodalla roads

| Lottie Twyford
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woman holding showbags

Eurobodalla Council’s child development officer Jenny Hogg with road safety showbags in Batemans Bay on Monday. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Eurobodalla Council is committed to taking real action to improve the safety of the shire’s roads during this year’s National Road Safety Week.

Council’s Infrastructure Services Director Warren Sharpe said there has been a real focus on local roads over the past few years.

There have already been a number of fatalities on Eurobodalla roads this year and n the years between 2008 to 2017, 30 people lost their lives and 520 were seriously injured in road accidents.

According to Mr Sharpe, National Road Safety Week has this year fallen at a timely point given the spate of road work across the shire.

Council is upgrading local roads at more than a dozen sites on top of general maintenance and there are also Transport for NSW upgrades at several locations along the Princes Highway.

Some of these include the busy North Head Drive – a section of which is being closed for five weeks as works are undertaken.

READ MORE Busy North Head Drive faces five week shutdown for works

In 2019 technical engineers from the council joined with road crews to drive the 1000-plus kilometres that make up the shire’s regional and rural roads in order to identify potential and existing hazards.

“We found more than 900 roadside hazards on our rural sealed network and we’re treating the high-priority issues and chasing grants to help remove them,” Mr Sharpe said.

The project was one of 67 originally listed in the Eurobodalla Road Safety Plan 2019-2022.

Mr Sharpe said the council had made good progress against the action items tabled, with most well underway and 17 completed.

“The plan is based on the safer systems model which also guides state and national approaches with a four-pronged approach – speed, roads, vehicles, people,” he said.

According to Mr Sharpe, there has been significant interest in the Eurobodalla’s approach to road safety and it was especially well received when it was presented to the South East Australia Transport Strategy alliance in Goulburn last week.

“It’s not just widening roads and fixing potholes. It’s things like upgrading line marking so a vehicle’s ‘driver assist’ can read our roads,” he said.

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The long-term strategy, explained Mr Sharpe, is about more than the physical infrastructure.

“We also want our road safety officer to get in early with future drivers – handing out showbags full of fun road-safety themed activities for children under five and provide road safety information for their parents at family fun days,” he said.

The council is also using the week to encourage road users to allow for extra travel time and slow down to keep workers safe.

Mr Sharpe said patience and courtesy need to be universally applied on the roads in the Eurobodalla.

“It’s not just construction crews – it’s dangerous to speed past anyone on or along any road whether that’s emergency services, the NRMA, the police, or school bus kids and coach passengers,” he said.

Likewise, the council is also reminding road users that cyclists are also entitled to use the road.

The law, he added, states that passing vehicles must give cyclists at least a metre clearance if travelling at 60 km/h or less and a metre and a half when travelling faster than 60 km/h.

National Road Safety Week 2021 runs from the 16 to 23 May.

For more information on the Eurobodalla Council’s current road works, visit their website. To view the Eurobodalla Road Safety Plan, visit Plans and strategies.

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