80kmh speed limit to save lives
CUTTING the speed of traffic on a notorious section of the Bruce Highway will save lives, Rockhampton Regional Council says.
The council is to write to police and Main Roads calling for the speed limit through Marlborough to be reduced to 80kmh.
Councillors backed a proposal by Cr Glenda Mather, who told them she was sick of the carnage.
“Within the past six months there have been two accidents at the same place, one resulting in a fatality, the other causing multiple serious injuries.”
She said the road design was poor, with an off-set intersection for vehicles entering and leaving the service roads.
“Risks are high and reducing the speed would result in an immediate improvement in road safety for the cost of a couple of signs.”
Cr Mather claims the section of Bruce Highway through Marlborough “has taken more lives than any other”.
It's notorious, she says, and will only be made safer by the introduction of better junctions and overtaking lanes. In the meantime, cutting speed is the only sensible, affordable measure.
Two councillors disagreed.
Cr Sandra O'Brien said reducing the limit from 100kmh to 80kmh had done nothing to make the highway safer near the service station at Marmor.
“If the police want a reduction in speed, they can make the request to Main Roads; it's not our responsibility. Truckies say it will make conditions more dangerous because they will have to brake more and you can see the skid marks on the road in Marmor since the limit was reduced there.”
Former truck driver Cr Brett Svendsen agreed. He said he would prefer to get a professional opinion on the issue.
But Cr Stephen Schwarten commended Cr Mather on her commitment to safety.
“We have reached the stage where we have to do something. If the council can play a co-ordinating role, I am happy with that, although it may well be that we have to do more at some stage in the future. This measure makes common sense.”
Cr Mather, an avid supporter of The Morning Bulletin's Fix the Bruce campaign, says cutting the speed will not remove the need for widespread improvements to the road.
“It needs widening, better intersections and overtaking lanes on that stretch between The Caves and Marlborough in particular.
“But when you are trying to reduce death and injury you look at what you can do in both the short term and long term and this is an area where there have been too many tragedies.”
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