An RTA staffer removes the Nambucca banner.
An RTA staffer removes the Nambucca banner. SUBMITTED

Doctors take on traffic authority

LOCAL doctors fed up by the highway carnage in our region are taking the Roads and Traffic Authority head-on.

While it appears little is being done by the peak roads body to address the death zone between Urunga and Nambucca, the Doctors for a Safer Pacific Highway took it upon themselves to hang banners along the side of the road warning holidaying motorists of the dangers associated with driving through the notorious black spot.

The RTA then moved swiftly to remove one of the signs in Nambucca, while the other in Urunga was spared as it technically hangs on private property.

The signs read: “This is a black spot – people die – end the highway to hell.”

An RTA spokesperson defended the action to remove the banner, which predictably incensed the medicos.

“There is an application process for all signs on State roads, which involves the local government authority for that area,” the spokesperson said.

“Unauthorised signs distract drivers, cause safety issues and set a precedent for other illegal signs.”

Dr Edwina Guard is part of the medical lobby group and said the sign marked the start of the horror stretch with the one still hanging opposite the former Brigalow Caravan Park signalling the end point.

“We harassed the RTA in the period leading up to Christmas about getting a sign raised and they said ‘we can’t get anything done before Christmas’,” Dr Guard said.

“We wanted something done before then because of all the extra holiday traffic. “There are lots of ads along the highway and I don’t think what we hung was distracting, it was a safety warning and if they had done something there wouldn’t have been a need.”

The group is in the process of getting a new sign printed and is searching for a suitable position in the Nambucca area.

Dr Guard said they were told a committee was assessing the black spot, but they are still awaiting further action.

“We were told a safety review was being conducted by the RTA’s Grafton office and we are still waiting for the findings and recommendations to be released,” Dr Guard said.

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