By Bonny Burrows
Tynong North residents have heightened calls for upgrades to a notoriously dangerous section of the Princes Highway, arguing that unless something is done “people will continue to die”.
Their desperate pleas follow the tragic death of a 64-year-old woman in a collision at the intersection at the weekend.
The woman, from Karingal, died after the car she was driving collided with an eastbound ute as she exited Brew Road onto the Princes Highway, about 6.40pm on 18 February just outside of Gumbuya World.
Her death came just weeks after a family narrowly avoided the same fate in an Australia Day multi-vehicle collision.
Investigations are continuing into the tragedy, but it hasn’t stopped the speculation the road’s design may have had a part to play.
Despite the cause of the accident, local residents say they have had enough; enough of the regular sounds of sirens racing up the highway to yet another accident and are calling for a solution to the dangerous intersection.
Some want an overpass similar to that at Longwarry; others want to see a reduction in speed.
They don’t care what, they say just want something done to minimise the risk of accidents and death.
Garry Burns, who lives three kilometres north of the road, said that with the increased traffic brought upon by the area’s population growth and local tourist attractions such as Gumbuya World, it was only a matter of time that someone would die.
“Unfortunately back in November I made a prediction that within six months someone would be killed there, based on traffic numbers,” Mr Burns said.
“Those involved in the Australia Day accident were lucky they were not killed, but now it’s happened and it will continue to happen unless something is done.
“That’s devastated her family, you know? You know it’s going to happen again, at what point do you get serious and say something needs to be done?”
“Do we have to wait until a whole family of kids is taken out?”
Brew Road resident Stephen Mann said the intersection had long been a problem, even prior to major development.
“It’s a concern for a lot of people on Brew Road. The biggest hassle is it’s a short run in,” Mr Mann said.
“It’s dangerous trying to turn into Brew Road and it’s dangerous turning out of Brew Road. It has been a problem for a long time.“
He said an upgrade was desperately needed and “always had been”.
“I don’t know the circumstances of the weekend’s death, but chances are (unless something is done) it will happen again.”
VicRoads was contacted for comment but had not responded at time of publication.
– Editor’s Desk, page 13.