Berrigan Shire councillors have called on Roads Services to improve the safety of the Newell Hwy pedestrian crossing.February 20, 2013 4:09am
The pedestrian crossing on the Newell Highway in Finley’s central business district is a fatality waiting to happen.
The Southern Riverina News has received several phone calls from business owners and local residents with this same message in recent months.
Most have highlighted motorists, including trucks, not stopping for pedestrians, as well as some recent ‘‘close calls’’ where people have almost been collected by vehicles.
Berrigan Shire Council has called on Roads and Maritime, which is in charge of maintaining the Newell Hwy, to make the crossing more visible to approaching drivers.
Councillor Matthew Hannan, a Finley resident, said the crossing was a matter of ‘‘much concern’’.
‘‘There still is an issue. Vehicles of all types don’t always adhere to the crossing,’’ he said.
‘‘A traffic light like the one in Cobram near the hospital may be an answer.
‘‘People don’t always wait for pedestrians to get off the crossing to continue to drive through it.
‘‘The elderly have to get right out to the roadside to be seen and this still doesn’t always ensure that vehicles stop.’’
Mr Hannan said something needed to be done to improve the safety of the crossing on what is an extremely busy highway with a high amount of truck traffic.
The crossing, which is located only a few metres north of the Newell Hwy and Warmatta St intersection, is now expected to be looked at by the Roads and Maritime Services (formerly Roads & Traffic Authority).
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said the organisation would investigate a solution.
‘‘RMS will liaise with the local traffic committee to investigate residents concerns about the safety at the Murray St (Newell Hwy) pedestrian crossing, as well as discussing further enforcement with police,’’ a spokesperson said.
‘‘RMS will also investigate the blind spot for traffic turning on to Murray St (Newell Hwy).’’
There have also been concerns raised about an area set aside for people to cross the road in Chanter St, Berrigan which is yet to be officially marked as a pedestrian crossing.
The RMS spokesperson said the possibility of formalising the crossing would also be investigated.
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