RESIDENTS of Smiths Beach have made a plea to Bass Coast Shire councillors to reduce the speed limit along Smiths Beach Road and Back Beach Road.
The Smiths Beach community fears another tragedy, after the devastating death of an infant in a car accident in December 2016.
John King, who lives along Smiths Beach Road, presented a petition to the council at a meeting on February 15.
Mr King said that the accident and resulting death of a small child had impacted the lives of those living nearby.
“This tragic event has had a deep emotional effect,” Mr King said.
As he presented the petition to the council, Mr King struggled with his emotions while recounting the horrible events of the fatal crash.
“I’m standing here to table this petition. I’m actually having trouble getting through this myself,” Mr King said.
“I was on the scene seconds after the collision, and witnessed CRP being administered. The vision of the desperate attempts to revive this small, broken child lying on the grass will stay with me forever, and has made an impression on my soul.”
Mayor Pamela Rothfield appeared visibly moved by Mr King’s impassioned appeal to the council to reduce the speed limit in Smiths Beach.
“Many residents are traumatised by the series of accidents, causing more stress than some can even discuss openly,” Mr King said.
“We await another tragedy. Back Beach Road requires a speed reduction.
“Councillors, I put it to you, to just for a moment contemplate if it were your family, your child. Consider our constant torment, listening to the sound of speeding vehicles, spewing stones and screeching tyres down Smiths Beach Road.
“It’s forever spoiled our amenity, and our lifestyle.”
The petition presented to council has more than 130 signatures, and asks that the council look at solutions to reduce the incidence of speeding and accidents at the intersection of Smiths Beach Road and Back Beach Road.
“We believe it is imperative to do what is reasonably possible to reduce the speed of traffic approaching the intersection from all directions,” the petition reads.
“The only way to ensure drivers comply and slow down on Smiths Beach Road is to install speed humps or chicanes (whatever you deem most appropriate) between Back Beach Road and the Smiths Beach car park, and to reduce the speed limit to 40km/h.
“This alone would not only reduce the speed of drivers approaching the intersection and the beach, but also make it safer for pedestrians crossing Smiths Beach Road to the footpath and for residents to enter and exit their driveways safely.”
Cr Bruce Kent, who is also a police officer at San Remo, recently went and visited the Smiths Beach Road and Back Beach Road intersection whilst on duty.
“I do have some concerns about the roadway being used by pedestrians,” Cr Kent said.
“Long term I would suggest getting a crossway getting looked at.”
As far as the current speed warning signs, Cr Kent believes these are adequate at this time, but mentioned that some trees have been cleared from near the intersection to increase visibility.
“I believe the signage is correct for that area. For a prudent driver, I can’t see any issues.”
The petition will now lie on the table at council, with a report to be presented to the council at a meeting on Wednesday, March 15.