CANSDELL: Time to get serious about highway blackspot
THE NSW Government must spend some of its record surplus on speed cameras and barriers to protect a vulnerable home on a notorious truck crash black spot, says the Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate for Clarence Steve Cansdell.
Last night, for the third time in three years, a north bound truck crashed into the Ulmarra home of Ryan and Krystal Brown and their young family after failing to negotiate the corner about 9.30pm.
Mr Cansdell, an Ulmarra resident, said the government will boast about its record surplus when it announces its budget later today, but needed to get serious about this "notorious black spot".
"Three and a half years ago I invited (the Member for Clarence ) Chris Gulaptis to a meeting in Ulmarra after two trucks crashed through a family's fence," Mr Cansdell said.
"Speed cameras were requested to slow down the traffic but Chris dismissed this idea as being too expensive.
"A change to the 50kmh zone was requested by local residents, this was also rejected.
"It wasn't until a local resident used his own initiative and got a hand-held radar gun and had the Channel 9 Today Show do a live broadcast videoing the speed of the traffic travelling along this known black spot that got Chris out again with the cameras for something to finally be done."
Mr Cansdell said installing either Thrie Beam corrugated guardrail or concrete barriers to stop trucks from crashing through the property should be the next step.
"Maybe next time the power pole won't deflect the truck away from the house and it will wipe out the house," he said.
"Thrie Beam will deflect vehicles away from the house and concrete barriers offer a solid safety barrier for the public."
Mr Gulaptis said the government was prepared to do whatever it could to prevent accidents at Ulmarra.
He phoned Mr Brown this morning when he learned of the crash.
"It seems like fatigue might have been an issue," Mr Gulaptis said. "He said the measures we've put in place have helped, with few drivers speeding and the traffic noise has gone down.
"We've considered installing rumble strips, which we know are effective to alert drivers if they're becoming fatigued.
"The problem is they're noise makers and we have to be mindful we have Rathgar Lodge and other residents who we don't want to be waking up at 11pm, 12pm, 1am, 2am, 3am every night.
"If we could find rumble strips that are less noisy, but still effective or we might be able to build sound barriers, that might be something we could do."
He said Mr Cansdell's proposals might not be feasible because the road was too narrow at that point.
"To install those sorts of barriers you need to have enough width on the road shoulders and I'm not sure there's enough width there to have those sorts of barriers," he said.
"They're good ideas but I'm not sure they would work there."
Mr Gulaptis said speed cameras could also be installed, but would be ineffective if the problem was fatigue.
"A speed camera is not going to wake up a driver who's gone to sleep," he said.
"And the former Member should know from personal experience that speed cameras don't automatically stop drivers from speeding."
Mr Gulaptis was referring to Mr Cansdell being caught exceeding the speed limit a number of times by the speed camera at Woodburn.
But Mr Cansdell said speed cameras were proven to be effective deterrents for speeding drivers.
"Surely they can afford the cost of a speed camera at Ulmarra at a site where there have been three trucks in three years go through a fence of a young family's home.
"With the Pacific Highway bypass still two years away, we can expect two more trucks to go through this fence endangering the lives of the young family yet again.
"I am calling on the local National State Member to stand up on this very important issue, to stand up to his Liberal masters to get the money to get this speed camera installed ASAP.
"Speed cameras are the only thing to get these drivers to pay attention."