The nearest resident to the dangerous Lance Creek intersection, Gerry Mollica, has called on drivers to come to a complete halt when approaching stop signs on West Creek Road and the eastern side of Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road but he believes that ultimately upgrading the intersection to a roundabout is the only real solution. M034514
THE image of blood spurting from the arm of a young accident victim, still trapped in his car after a sickening collision with a truck at the dangerous Lance Creek intersection isn’t one that Gerry Mollica is likely to forget in a hurry.
Since he bought the house at the corner of West Creek Road, Glen Alvie Road and Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road almost six years ago, he’s seen five potentially fatal accidents and he doesn’t want to see another one.
But he’s not hopeful.
If it’s simply left up to the bureaucrats at VicRoads and the Bass Coast Shire Council, nothing’s going to happen, he says.
“They came out a few years ago and promised to cut back the trees and add some safety things but they did nothing,” said Gerry during an impromptu site meeting at the intersection last Thursday.
“They rang me up and told me they would meet me there on a Monday. This is a few years ago now, and they didn’t even turn up.
“What they said they’d do they just forgot about.”
Last Wednesday, November 5, VicRoads, the police and the council had what the council has termed a ‘Key Stakeholders Meeting’ at the intersection but they didn’t invite anyone from the community.
Aren’t they ‘Key Stakeholders’ too?
They were there because of a mass community meeting, attended by 150 locals, at the site on October 15 but whoever organised the site inspection last Wednesday didn’t have the nous to invite even one representative of the group.
A few locals saw them there and stopped to ask questions.
Mr Mollica was one of them.
But, he says, they quickly disappeared.
“I asked them when we were going to get a roundabout and they said ‘you’re not going to get a roundabout’ because it’s too expensive.
“It would cost $2 million, they said.
“I asked them what they were going to do and they said they were ‘thinking about it’.
“They’ve been thinking about it for a while but that’s all they’ve been doing and that’s all they will do unless we keep the pressure on.
“I’ve had them out here two or three times in the past but they say it isn’t a black spot. What does it take?
“There have been four fatalities here over the years and heaps of accidents. We shouldn’t have to wait until there’s another fatality,” Mr Mollica claimed.
“There’s nothing worse than going to a funeral.
“The first thing they should do is cut the speed down. At least if everyone was going slower, they’d have some chance of stopping if someone comes out from the stop sign.
“The most important thing is that people must stop at the ‘Stop’ sign. Not be still rolling their wheels. They’ve got to come to a complete stop and the police should come out and see what happens here.
“I can still remember that day I held that bloke’s hand until the paramedics came. He went through the stop sign and a semi, coming down Glen Alvie Road, cleaned him up. The truck driver had no chance of stopping.
“The car was pushed right up there, near the Dalyston sign (Mr Mollica’s corner).
“People coming out of Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road think they can make it across but you’ve got no hope when cars or trucks are doing their 95km/h or a 100. They’re on you so quickly.
“The worst ones are the workers (coming from the abattoirs) and the trucks don’t stop either. They slow down when they see people here, like today, but they don’t usually.”
Mr Mollica said trees growing right up to the intersection and the design of the crossroads made it difficult for drivers to see who was coming on approach but he said it’s no excuse for not stopping at the stop sign.
“I’ve cut back the trees along the front of my place. They leave my house without any screening but it had to be done.
“Why won’t the council and VicRoads do their bit?
“The police and VicRoads were out here a few months ago and nothing happened. I’m not saying it would have stopped that accident the other day from happening (John and Barb Luke) but it might have helped.
“If they don’t do it this time we should call another meeting.”
Mr Mollica said cutting down the trees and spraying to keep vegetation at bay permanently was the minimum but he has also called for a restriction to be placed on speed.
Ultimately, though, he says a roundabout is what’s needed but after what VicRoads said last week about the cost, he’s convinced that ‘people power’ and constant pressure is the only thing that’s going to bring about change.
Roundabout a possibility, says VicRoads director
VICROADS is investigating a range of options, which may include funding for a roundabout, to improve safety at the dangerous intersection at Lance Creek, which was the subject of an on-site protest by 150 people recently.
In his response to the community campaign, VicRoads’ Regional Director, Eastern Victoria, Scott Lawrence indicated the works could be funded under a future road safety program.
“VicRoads’ is aware of the community’s concern regarding the Lance Creek intersection,” Mr Lawrence said.
“In response to these concerns VicRoads has repainted lines at the intersection to make the point at which vehicles must stop and give way more visible to motorists.
“In addition, VicRoads is continuing to work with the Bass Coast Council (which is the responsible authority for the local road intersecting with Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road) to make further improvements.”
He said the improvements may include:
• The installation of additional rumble strips across the road and painting “stop ahead” on the road to warn road users as they approach the intersection.
• The replacement of signs with more retro-reflective signs so that they are more visible at night.
• The removal of vegetation to improve driver visibility to help them enter and exit the intersection.
“VicRoads has no current plans to install a temporary roundabout at this intersection. However, we are currently investigating a range of options for this intersection including the option of a roundabout for funding consideration under future road safety programs.”