Rear-end bumps the big worry
TOW truck drivers and panel beaters can vouch for the damage being caused, but it's residents of the northern beaches who feel the pain of bonnet-to-bumper crashes north of Coffs Harbour each day.
"Rear-enders" as they are nonchalantly called in the auto-repair trade are an increasing hazard for motorists travelling on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Hwy upgrade during peak traffic periods.
The Advocate is aware of five drivers who were last week involved in minor accidents on that stretch of the road, reinforcing a call from authorities for drivers to give the road their undivided attention.
"Yeah, we see a lot of cars in the workshop after accidents north of Coffs and south of Woopi," Andrew Fuller of Greg Hennessey Smash Repairs said.
"Anywhere from three to four a week, I guess; a lot of rear- and front-panel damage, a lot of insurance work," he said.
Staff at the Coffs Coast Collision Centre said reports of multiple-car pile-ups were common.
"The accidents definitely come down to lapses of concentration, drivers being distracted, looking at what's happening off road," staff at the centre said.
One local motorist told of how he suffered the shock and whiplash of a car smashing into the rear of the vehicle he was driving last week at almost 80kmh.
Black spots that worry authorities include the Moonee Beach turn-off, the Heritage Park turn-off, Smiths Rd, Emerald Beach and the two approaches to Graham Dr at Sandy Beach.
Traffic and highway patrol command's Superintendent Stuart Smith has appealed for motorists to take more care when driving.
"We are continually seeing a total disregard by some drivers for the road rules," Supt Smith said.