The Border Watch : April 9th 2014
6 NEWS VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au Highway pedestrian safety win From front page Speaking at a council committee meeting yesterday, the councillor renewed her call for more pedestrian-activated crossings to be installed on the city’s highways, particularly near schools. “That (Jubilee Highway West) is where my dad died, these devices are much needed,” said Cr Richardson, who explained her father was crossing the highway to buy groceries at the time of the accident. Standing at the spot of SPEEDING, INTOXICATED AND UNLICENSED: A 26-year-old Mount Gambier man will face serious charges in a Queensland court after smashing into the front of hotel at an estimated speed of 144kph. Mount Gambier driver accused of ploughing into pub at 144kph From front page He will also face two separate counts of speeding and unlicensed driving. It took emergency service workers an hour to extract the driver from his vehicle and he was flown to a Cairns-based hospital for treatment. Two other passengers were air- lifted to Townsville with serious injuries. Police could not confirm what substance was found in the driver’s blood or his state of intoxication at the time of the incident. In the minutes before the collision, the vehicle was allegedly detected travelling at 175kph on the Bruce Highway 25km south of Ingham. A short time later it was reportedly detected by another police vehicle, four kilometres south of Ingham, travelling at 171kph. “Mathematical equations from fixed traffic cameras in a 60kph zone in Ingham township indicate the vehicle was travelling at 144kph shortly before impact,” Queensland police said. “A very short time later, this vehicle mounted a median strip and continued across Lannercost Street, Ingham, and drove into the front bar of the Royal Hotel.” Acting Inspector Tony Melrose said “sooner or later” people driving at such speeds would destroy their own lives and those of innocent people. Insp Melrose rejected a suggestion police were pursuing the vehicle at the time of the accident. “Independent witnesses and closed circuit television footage clearly shows police were nowhere near this vehicle as it entered Ingham or the point of impact,” he said. “No, police were not following this vehicle.” The Mount Gambier man is due to face Ingham Magistrates Court on May 19. 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And in a move to speed up the costings ahead of next financial year’s budget, councillors have provisionally supported moves to undertake an immediate “design and construct” tender process. It is understood the project will improve the usability of the circuit, reduce the risk of crime and enhance the prestige of the area. Council also hopes the project will help to stimulate the city’s tourism sector given the lake’s iconic status. Under the plan, council would install 2.6km of the circuit with solar lights, which would be off the electricity grid. The remainder of the pathway is expected to be supplemented with additional street lighting. Council operational services director Daryl Sexton yesterday described the initiative as a “live project” and revealed the issue had been discussed for some years. “It is now achievable,” said Mr Sexton, who revealed $450,000 had been earmarked in the 2014/15 budget. But he said the true costing of the project would not be known until a tender process was completed. “There is not an off-the-shelf solution,” Mr Sexton said. But he warned the project costings were needed before the project could be officially given the green light by elected members. Meanwhile, Cr Ian Von Stanke yesterday threw his weight behind progressing the initiative. “The benefits just go on and on, it is about safety,” Cr Von Stanke said. According to a council report released yesterday, the $450,000 proposed cost is based on estimates to install 64 solar lights. Council environmental sustainability officer Aaron Izzard said the project would allow residents to walk around the Blue Lake for longer periods, especially during the cooler months when the days were shorter. “Night-time presentation of the Blue Lake will be improved,” Mr Izzard said. “Daytime appearance should experience minimal impact if the lights are well designed and aesthetically pleasing.” The issue will be debated further at Tuesday’s full council meeting. the accident yesterday, Cr Richardson praised the transport department’s decision to improve the safety on the highway given the high volume of trucks and cars passing by. “It is pretty sad it had to come this way, but hopefully some lives will be saved - I am extremely happy,” she said. But she said her father’s death highlighted how precarious the city’s highways were for pedestrians, particularly given council was promoting walking in the community. “A lot of families cross the highway to get to school - it can be quite dangerous, so we need more of these crossings,” Cr Richardson said. She said a crossing should be built further up the highway near the Mulga Street Primary School route. “I hope this is the first of a few for the safety of pedestrians,” Cr Richardson said. The elected member also praised council staff, particularly operational services director Daryl Sexton, for pushing the issue with the department. In a letter to council, transport department eastern regional manager Jon Whelan said the department had obtained funding from the Motor Accident Commission for the project. “It was tragic that a pedestrian/gopher fatality occurred at this location on February 23, 2012,” Mr Whelan said. “A pedestrian activated crossing will improve safety for pedestrians at this location and will only impact about two carparking spaces, one on the north side and one on the south side of Jubilee Highway West.” He said the department was working in cooperation with council officers. “It is anticipated the works will commence in April 2014 and be completed by the end of June 2014,” Mr Whelan said.
April 8th 2014
April 10th 2014