Safety review into hwy turning lanes after crash

The RMS will launch a safety review into the turning lanes exiting Opal Boulevard, the scene of a vehicle  Pacific Hwy accident this week.
The RMS will launch a safety review into the turning lanes exiting Opal Boulevard, the scene of a vehicle Pacific Hwy accident this week. Trevor Veale

ROADS and Maritime Services has committed to undertake a safety review of the turning lanes on the Pacific Hwy, opposite Opal Boulevard - the scene of another Pacific Hwy accident this week.

The latest crash at Korora on Monday involved four vehicles and saw a Jeep four-wheel-drive, driven by a woman, 57, clipped by another vehicle as it turned onto the highway in wet conditions, police said.

What followed was a chain of events that saw a Ford Laser roll four times and end up on its roof with the female driver, 34, trapped until emergency services arrived.

Police said a Hyundai Getz, driven by woman, 38, and a white Mitsubishi driven by a man, 20, were also involved.

"A review of the intersection of the Pacific Hwy and Opal Boulevard will be carried out in coming weeks," an RMS spokeswoman said.

The RMS spokeswoman said the review would be conducted to understand if potential improvements can be made.

"The speed limit on that section of the highway was recently reduced from 100kmh to 80kmh to increase safety," she said.

News of the review came after Opal Cove Resort backed the calls of residents for safety improvements to the turning lanes.

Asked about the danger surrounding the turning lanes, Opal Cove Resort general manager Guy Perotti said the resort was concerned about the safety of highway traffic entering and exiting Opal Blvd.

"As a duty of care, resort staff regularly advise guests headed north on the highway to turn left into the southbound lanes and perform a right-hand U-turn on the highway at a safer location," Mr Perrotti said.

"In saying that the move to decrease the speed from 100kmh to 80kmh has been an improvement.

"Perhaps driver impatience can be a factor in these crashes as well, we all get impatience behind the wheel at times 

This latest crash blocked the highway and led to lengthy delays north of Coffs Harbour.

Police officers, with the assistance of tow truck driver and retained fireman Deon Atkins, freed the woman in the overturned vehicle using a knife to cut her free from her seatbelt.

"There was a strong smell of fuel around the overturned vehicle," Mr Atkins said.

The woman was hospitalised after she tended to by paramedics at the scene. 

Topics:  accident opal cove resort pacific highway roads and maritime services

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