By Brendan Rees
Fed-up Pearcedale residents say it’s just a matter of time before a hoon driver loses control of their car and seriously injures or kills someone.
Residents have started a petition, which has garnered 339 signatures, calling on Casey Council and VicRoads to take urgent action and save their coastal village.
Intersections of most concern to residents include Smith’s Lane and Baxter-Tooradin Road; Pearcedale Rd and Baxter-Tooradin Rd Roundabout, and all surrounding roundabouts.
“Often, our roundabouts are ripped up from cars doing burnouts and drifting which puts the safety of our community at risk,” the change.org petition says.
“Police have been called a number of times about these issues but nothing has been done. It’s only a matter of time before innocent life is lost.”
The petition asks for steel barricades and shell grip surfaces to be installed to stop hoons “drifting on the grass and around our roundabouts”.
The Department of Transport (DoT) says the State Government is currently upgrading Baxter-Tooradin Road between Fisheries Road and South Gippsland Highway, near Devon Meadows.
Works include installing barriers on the side of the road and centre median, extending existing barriers along the highway between Manks Road and Bass Highway. DoT contends these works will fill in the gaps, providing continuous barriers between Craig Road to the Bass Highway in Lang Lang.It is part of the Victorian Government’s $36.6 million package of works to boost safety at four sites across the south-east.
These locations include the Western Port Highway from Lynbrook to Langwarrin, the South Gippsland Highway from Devon Meadows to Lang Lang, and the Princes Highway from Pakenham to Longwarry North.
“Safety is always our number one priority – if you see someone acting dangerously on our road, report it to Victoria Police,” a DoT spokesperson said.
“We’ve already started making Baxter-Tooradin Road safer near the South Gippsland Highway, and we will continue to work with the community and make assessments about any future improvements.”
Meanwhile, Casey Council’s manager of city and asset planning Keri New said while Smiths Lane and Pearcedale Road fell under its jurisdiction, Baxter Tooradin Road was an arterial road managed by the State Government.
“Therefore, the roundabouts at the intersection of Pearcedale Road/Baxter Tooradin Road and Smiths Lane/Baxter Tooradin Road are the responsibility of the Department of Transport,” she said.
“Any upgrade of these intersections is a matter for Department of Transport, however, with the safety of our residents always front of mind, council would support any proposed measures that increase driver safety.”
Casey Council says according to the State Government’s road crash statistics database, in the five-year period to 30 June 2019 there has been two reported incidents at the intersection of Smiths Lane and Baxter-Tooradin Road and one reported collision at the intersection of Pearcedale Road and Baxter-Tooradin Road.
However, according to the Department of Transport data, in the past 12 months, there had been three crashes at the Pearcedale Road and Baxter-Tooradin Road intersection.