A new group, formed to add to the pressure on politicians to make the Pacific Highway safer, met for the first time yesterday t
A new group, formed to add to the pressure on politicians to make the Pacific Highway safer, met for the first time yesterday t

Father bans daughter from highway drive



SOUTHERN Cross University student Jodie Dench's family lives in Sydney, but her father will no longer let her drive home on the Pacific Highway for fear of her becoming another statistic.

"My father's a truck driver, so he knows what the roads are like and he's heard about all the accidents in this area," Ms Dench said.

"So he says he'd rather pay the $250 for me to fly down there than for me to drive."

That's just how notorious the Pacific Highway has become, and Ms Dench didn't hesitate in joining a new group of SCU lecturers and students who plan to join the fight to replace political talk with action.

"In the first instance we want immediate safety measures like speed cameras, more police, and reductions in speed limits," deputy chairwoman of the Mid North Coast Regional Development Board Jan Strom said.

"And secondly, we want start and finish dates on the Bonville deviation."

Yesterday, this new group met for the first time to plan a strategy on the best ways to achieve that, with the main aim to take the issue out of the Mid North Coast and into the national media.

They plan to do that with a big splash, and as Federal and State roads ministers are in no hurry to come to Coffs Harbour, the group is going to deliver the message straight to their offices.

"The Pacific Highway has got ridiculous, and as a community we have to do something about it," academic director of the SCU students association Neville Neal said.

"We have to embarrass the Government into action. If we have enough people and enough momentum to get it going, then it will happen."

A public meeting to discuss the strategy and garner community support will be held on September 14 at 6pm. More details will be provided soon, but for more information email nneal20@scu.edu.au



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