WARRANDYTE bridge was blocked for several hours on Tuesday, September 22, after a semi-trailer rolled on its side at the intersection of Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road and Research-Warrandyte Road.
A police spokesperson at the scene stated that the truck had apparently lost its brakes coming down the steep Research Road hill (Sloans Hill).
The driver tried to turn the speeding vehicle left into Kangaroo Ground Road, resulting in the semi-trailer rolling onto its side.
The driver of the semi was taken to hospital after receiving a heavy knock to the head.
No one else was injured at the accident and fortunately no cars were coming down Kangaroo Ground Road at the time of the accident.
The semi had crossed the southbound lane of Kangaroo Ground Road and ended up hard against the bank at the side of Kangaroo Ground Road.
Ben Ramcharan, candidate for Sugarloaf Ward in the forthcoming Nillumbik Council Election has been advocating for improved safety on this road since February, and says it is frustrating to see yet another incident which could easily have been fatal under different circumstances.
“This is now the fifth truck crash on the south side of Research-Warrandyte Road since November 2018.
“Fortunately, as the roads are quieter at the moment due to lockdown, nobody else was hit.
“My thoughts are with the truck driver who has gone through a very traumatic experience.”
Mr Ramcharan said he spoke with a resident on Research-Warrandyte Road who has had multiple cars lose control at Bradleys Lane and plough into his fence on Research-Warrandyte Road.
“One driver even crashed through his driveway.
“He said VicRoads were able to make improvements on the corner, which has solved the problem.
“This shows that safety improvements can make a difference and now that we’re seeing more crashes at the bottom of the hill, we need to ask the Department of Transport to take similar action,” he said.
Benita Quine, the mother of Ana Quine who was injured in a crash in January in the same spot is angry the intersection remains dangerous.
“This has to stop,” she said.
She said that the intersections at both ends of the bridge are a safety concern.
“Talking to others, and in my experience, plus witnessing other near misses — the pedestrian crossing at the Yarra Street end of the bridge is so dangerous!
“Drivers seem to be unaware of its purpose, myself and others have had to hold up a hand to say ‘I am crossing please stop,’” she said.
Mr Ramcharan agreed the incidents on Research-Warrandyte Road are part of a much larger problem with road safety in North Warrandyte, Research and Kangaroo Ground.
In a letter seen by the Diary, the Department of Transport indicated that they are working with their road safety partners to identify future improvements on Research-Warrandyte Road.
The letter also indicated that Nillumbik Council are planning to construct new footpaths on sections of Research-Warrandyte Road as part of its Getting to School Safely project.
“These projects will enhance pedestrian access and safety,” the letter said.
Mr Ramcharan said the incident on Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road in June, where a 29-year-old woman was killed, is “a sobering reminder of how important it is to address road safety across the board.
“This is about our safety and our families’ safety,” he said.