Bega blackspot speed limit lowered

CAR ACCIDENT CREATES SOCIAL MEDIA DEBATE

THE Roads and Maritime Services is temporarily lowering the speed zone on a section of the Prince Hwy near Bega labelled a “blackspot” by locals.

Two incidents on the highway 5km north of Bega occurred on Saturday, following several in recent months including a fatality in November.

“Roads and Maritime Services recently installed additional warning signs to supplement a number of existing curve advisory signs on the section of the Princes Hwy between Bega Lookout and Coopers Gully Rd,” an RMS spokeperson said.  

“To further improve road safety, Roads and Maritime Services plans to seal the road with a skid resistant surface to provide improved friction and traction for vehicles in all weather conditions."

This work is planned to be carried out as soon as possible.  

Until the work is done, RMS will temporarily reduce the speed limit to 80kmh [from 100kmh] from Friday.

A woman involved in Saturday’s multi-car accident on the Princes Hwy believes the road needs to be upgraded.

Ang Hutley broke an arm and received severe bruising to her chest after the car she was driving slid across the northbound lane into the path of car travelling in the southbound land around 10am. 

Ms Hutley’s infant son was trapped in the car and had to freed by VRA personnel before being stabilised by paramedics at the scene. 

The man driving the other vehicle was also injured and was discharged from Bega Hospital on Wednesday. 

A car from an incident that occurred earlier at 4am was already on the nearby embankment, with police saying the occupant of that vehicle had fled the scene. 

The section of road has been the scene of several serious accidents, including one that killed a local man in November (BDN, 14/11/13). 

After news of the incident was posted on the BDN’s Facebook page it attracted a lot of comment, with many people labelling this area a “blackspot” (BDN, 8/4).

“Something does need to happen to fix that road before another person dies,” Ms Hutley said. 

“It’s a section of road I’ve always been careful on and it still happened to me.” 

Ms Hutley said she was driving at 75kmh – a speed recommended by signage on the bends in this 100kmh section – when her car started to slide. 

Her children aged five, four and one were passengers in the car.

“It was very frightening, my son took the impact of the crash.

“The helicopter [Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue] was called, but he ended not being transported out of Bega, his car seat saved him.”

Ms Hutley said she’s uneasy about driving this section of road now.

“I have to drive it to get in and out of Bega, I don’t want to, but what can you do?

“I think something is really wrong with that road.

“I’m not an expert, but whether it’s the camber or not, it’s dangerous. 

“It’s not about anyone speeding, I’ve heard of milk trucks doing 50kmh sliding across. 

“I think a barrier would definitely help between the lanes, I know it would have stopped my car going across,” she said. 

Sergeant Brad Swan of Bega Police said he attends incidents on that section of road with alarmingly regularity and was present on Saturday.

“There was light rain and wet road,” he said. 

“In those conditions people need to slow down, I really caution people to do this as I have attended too many accidents there.

“I would also ask people to look at the road worthiness of their car, particularly the tread of their tyres,” he said. 

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