A road too close - A truck almost hit their home, now the Edwards want to be moved

By EMMA CORNFORD

SHANAE Edwards still won't sleep in her bedroom at night.

Earlier this year, a truck came within 10 metres of hitting the bedroom where the 14-year-old was sleeping. The driver had veered off the Pacific Highway and slammed through the front fence of the Ulmarra home.

When the home, which belongs to Shanae's mother Jenny Edwards, was first moved to the site more than 50 years ago, it was much further from the road side.

But since the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) widened the road in 2000, one of the busiest highways in Australia lies just two-and-a-half metres from the Edwards' front gate.

Since the incident, Ms Edwards has been asking the RTA to move their home further from the road.

"I'd just like them to move the home back so that we're out of the firing line if something goes wrong," Ms Edwards said.

Neighbours on either side of Ms Edwards have had their houses demolished by vehicles coming off the highway ? and she said the same happening to her family is simply a matter of time.

"You don't realise how much it affects you. My neighbour had her house demolished by a truck a few years ago and she still jumps. It affected her greatly," Ms Edwards said.

"It's like playing a game of Russian roulette -- you know someone's going to get shot, it's just a question of when it's going to happen."

Ms Edwards has approached both the RTA and Clarence ValleyCouncil, but says neither want to take responsibility.

"The way I can see it, they don't want to set a precedent. If they admit there is a danger then they will have everybody on their backs saying 'I'm in danger too' and it ... puts them in a bad position legally," Ms Edwards said.

Adding to the dilemma is the fact that a highway route has still not been decided.

"It means no-one wants to do anything because they might just have to move us anyway if they decide to go through here," Ms Edwards said.

"But even if they do choose this route it could be another 10 years before the upgrade goes ahead and that still leaves us in this dangerous position."



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