DEATH TRAP: Highway intersection a 'turn-off' for residents
PACIFIC Highway works at the Mororo Road turn-off have created a potential death trap, say the residents forced to use the intersection on a regular basis.
According to local organic farmer Mike Smith, recent changes for the upgrade have left southbound cars turning right from the highway onto Mororo Rd stuck in the middle of the highway, while they wait for turning water and gravel trucks, with nowhere to go.
"If you have to make a right turn you just have to wait," Mr Smith said.
He said there was an option to turn left into a turning area and wait to cross the highway, but not everyone was aware of this. He said it was a frightening experience being stuck in the middle of a busy highway.
"You're stuck out in the middle of the road, with your eyes on the rear vision mirror, hoping the driver of that semi-trailer barrelling up behind you is paying full attention to what's going on," he said.
Mr Smith said there had been plenty of close calls.
"My wife was nearly wiped out a few days ago," he said. "She came home in tears.
"If someone gets rear-ended, they're going to have a death on their hands."
He said residents had come up with a strategy to alert vehicles behind them they were about to turn off.
"Well before we want to turn, we tap the brake pedal to alert the vehicles behind us we're slowing down to turn right.
"I just hope someone doesn't die before anything gets done.
"They've told us they'll let us know the result in the new year. I don't know what good that's going to do. Blind Freddy can see it's a dodgy situation now."
He said the current safety audit was the second Pacific Complete had undertaken.
A spokesperson from the RMS said residents had complained to RMS/Pacific Complete about the issue and they had completed a safety audit of the area.
A road safety audit is currently under way, with any outcomes to be implemented before major work starts in January.
Local residents will be consulted about any changes in advance.
A temporary option for southbound motorists is to turn left into the fire trail road opposite Mororo Rd and make a U-turn before crossing the highway, or travel one kilometre down the road to make a U-turn at Lewis Lane.
Once the highway upgrade is complete only left in, left out movements will be possible at Mororo Rd and access will require motorists to travel to Lewis Lane.