Drivers red-flag bad intersections
THEY call them “death traps” and some Gympie region residents are known to travel kilometres out of their way to avoid them.
They're the killer intersections and black spots that continue to claim and maim the lives of highway users.
As school holidays commence, motorists are being urged to take extra care on the roads, particularly along the notorious Cooroy to Curra stretch of the Bruce Highway.
With the Cooroy to Curra bypass still years away, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has implemented various interim strategies to improve safety on this section.
The latest measure planned is a painted median strip along the centre of the road to increase the separation between vehicles travelling in opposite directions.
The federally funded work is planned to commence next month and is expected to be complete by the end of 2010.
Once in place, it will be illegal for motorists to cross the median strip to overtake other vehicles, however motorists can legally cross the strip if entering or leaving the road.
The announcement of this work follows the death of a woman last Saturday on the Chatsworth stretch of the highway near Horton Road.
While residents attributed the fatality to factors other than the highway, according to drivers who regularly travel the “high-crash zone” the problem is that there is no safety margin for driver error.
And while any intersection onto a major highway needs to be treated with care, several intersections have been “red-flagged” by drivers who traverse the highway everyday as “black spots” - areas where motorists need to drive with particular care and caution.
Areas considered the most dangerous by regular road users are:
The Matilda intersection, the Traveston Crossing Road intersection and the Traveston Road intersection (all at Kybong), the Carlson Road intersection at Coles Creek, the Caltex Gold Nugget truck stop turnoff, the Wide Bay Highway intersection (Bells Bridge), Purcell Road intersection at Curra and the right hand turn off the Bruce Highway into Lobwein Road.
Truck driver and road safety campaigner Brendan Blatchly, who single-handedly gathered 800 signatures on a petition for urgent action on the Matilda intersection at Kybong, said yesterday he had also gathered the support of the Queensland Branch of the Transport Workers Union.
The union's state secretary Hughie Williams has indicated he will visit Gympie with Mr Blatchly soon to throw the union's influence and support behind Mr Blatchly's campaign.