State’s roads a tangled avenue of priorities

A recent single-vehicle rollover on West Kameruka Rd. The driver escaped unharmed.
A recent single-vehicle rollover on West Kameruka Rd. The driver escaped unharmed.

Our roads are vital pieces of infrastructure, key to everything we hold important.

Understandable then, roads are consistently among the top of our priorities whenever we’re asked where governments of all levels should be spending money.

We have had several car crashes in recent weeks, often at the same spot where previous incidents have taken place. Cobargo-Bermagui Rd, West Kameruka Rd, Mt Darragh...the list of “blackspots” goes on.

However, not all of these are actual blackspots as defined by the state government when prioritising funding or reviewing speed zones. Management and maintenance of these regional roads falls to a council that although confirmed “Fit for the Future” has so many financial balls in the air at any one time it makes a regional news editor’s head swim.

And what’s to say these sections of roads are even where money should be spent? How many crashes does it take to make a blackspot? Lowering the speed limit is a quick fix, a band-aid solution putting the onus back on to the motorist to moderate their own driving behaviour. Then again, we’ve had quite a lot of talk around a “nanny state” of late as well – is imposing conditions on every driver due to the actions of a few the best way to get results?

It took an awful tragedy at Kerrisons Lane for the council and state government to get their heads together over modifying that section of the Bega-Tathra Rd – but not before several other drivers came unstuck on the same stretch in the weeks and months that followed.

Then again, as pointed out by readers, how many drivers have negotiated these roads over the years without incident?

We hasten to add we are not laying blame on either the motorists or the roads in any of these instances, just raising the questions for discussion.

We’ve noted readers are quick to point fingers at the driver whenever we post details of the latest incident on our roads – “slow down”, “drive to the conditions”, know your limitations”. All perfectly valid pieces of advice – whether they had any bearing on the crash is not for us to judge.

However, when multiple crashes happen on the same spots – the same corner, the same short stretch – the road itself must come into question.

The “realignment” of the Princes Hwy at Frogs Hollow still has us scratching our heads over the $2.1million spend though.