Two airlifted

By Melissa Meehan
BUNYIP police have called for more road signs to be erected on Cardinia Shire’s country roads after a collision in Iona saw two people airlifted to hospital last week.
Sergeant Ray De Reus told the Gazette that two cars collided when one failed to give way at the intersection of Little Road and Fallon Road, Iona just before 1pm on Thursday.
Both cars lost control and ended up in the drain at the side of the road.
As a result of the incident, the Cardinia Shire Council erected give way signs at the intersection on Monday.
One car flipped upside down and a 16-year-old girl from Iona was trapped, but was able to free herself when emergency crews arrived.
The girl was airlifted to The Alfred hospital with a suspected broken hip and leg. The girl’s mother, a well-known community member, was taken by ambulance to Dandenong Hospital with abdominal soreness.
A 41-year-old man (also from Iona), who was driving the other car was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Sgt De Reus said the intersection was just one of many intersections in the area that were unsigned.
“There could be between 30 and 40 that are not signed,” Sgt De Reus said.
“The guy who crashed into the car with the girl and her mum said he didn’t even see them, a sign might have woken him up to the fact that he needed to give way.”
But Cardinia Traffic Management Unit’s Sergeant Nigel Atkins said not all country roads in Cardinia necessarily needed to have signs.
“Having signs on all intersections would be a road safety advantage for the community but is not necessary,” he said.
“Victorian Road Rule 17A(1) clearly outlines the obligations placed upon all drivers.
“They have a duty of care to avoid a collision by giving way regardless of any sign.”
Sgt Atkins said signs would enhance road safety but incidents like what happened in Iona indicated that drivers were not exercising due care and attention in the first place.
“Signs do not cause collisions, drivers do,” he said.
“Impatience and arrogance plays a big part in collisions too.”
He said drivers needed to “switch themselves on” and concentrate towards “survive and arrive alive”.
Cardinia Shire Council spokesman Paul Dunlop said any accident on local roads was a concern.
Mr Dunlop said council staff inspected the intersection immediately after learning of the accident.
He said the installation of give way signs should provide motorists with greater certainty about what to do at the intersection.
“Most of the traffic in the area would be locals who know the intersection and motorists generally follow the rule of giving way to the right. The installation of give way signs will provide further direction, particularly for people unfamiliar with the area,” Mr Dunlop said.
“Council is obviously keen to make our roads as safe as possible and we hope this treatment will help prevent future accidents occurring.”