In a positive example of speaking out, and being heard, a treacherous section of highway leading into Eden has become decidedly less treacherous thanks to Broadwater resident Robert Bain.
Dr Bain used the NSW Roads and Maritime office’s online feedback page earlier this month to raise concerns about passing lanes on the downward slopes of the Princes highway approaching Eden’s northern entrance.
In his submission to the Roads and Maritime, Dr Bain detailed the danger.
“I drive from Hardakers Rd to Eden at least once every day,” Dr Bain wrote.
“It is very common to get behind either a slow moving truck or a car towing a boat or caravan that keeps the traffic speed to around 80km/h.
“After the Haycock Point turn there are double lines until about half way down the hill past the tip. Drivers not familiar with the area frequently try to overtake the slow vehicle while going down this hill.”
Dr Bain said the problem occurred when the slow lead vehicles gathered speed on the downhill, often reaching 100km/h.
“The overtaking driver then has to accelerate to at least 120km/h to get passed and back into the left lane before the next double lines,” Mr Bain wrote.
“Often they do not make it and have to cross back over the double lines.”
Dr Bain believed if the oncoming vehicles were two abreast in the north-bound lanes, there was “high potential for a serious accident”.
Roads and Maritime acknowledged the section was indeed perilous.
“In the five years to the end of 2015, there were 35 crashes on the 100 km/h section of Princes Highway between Hardakers Road at Eden and Eden town, including one fatality and 12 injuries,” a Roads and Maritime spokesperson said on Tuesday.
“Almost 75 percent of crashes involved a vehicle leaving the road on a bend.”
Mr Bain said he when he lodged his concerns he was “skeptical of officialdom’s feedback forms”.
But his skepticism was short lived.
This week, the service confirmed it had “assessed the site and implemented changes to line marking to restrict overtaking”.
“Guard fencing was also installed this year and the road resurfaced in the past 12 months to further improve safety for motorists,” a Roads and Maritime spokesperson said.
Dr Bain said he gives Roads and Maritime “full marks” for its prompt response.