NO GO FOR ROAD WOES
Traffic issues not deemed black spots until they reach a casualty quota
RESIDENTS concerned about the safety of busy roads feel their worries are not being heard.
Despite nearly 100 crashes along Popondetta Rd in 10 years and unrecorded reports of speeding drivers on Napier and Wolseley streets in Rooty Hill – many witnessed by neighbours – responsibility for road safety is being passed around.
Blacktown Council deems “three casualty crashes in five years” on a stretch of road warrants black spot funding to be allocated. Rooty Hill residents told The
Standard they approached the council claiming their streets were being used “as a drag strip” but were told there were no plans to add traffic calming devices.
The council said speeding fell under the jurisdiction of police.
“They basically said until someone is seriously injured they won’t do anything because there is a cost factor,” resident of 16 years, Joe McCarther, said.
AFTER more than 100 crashes in a decade on Popondetta Rd, Blacktown Council and Mt Druitt police have urged drivers to use more caution – but nothing is planned to improve the busy road.
According to figures obtained by The Standard by the Centre for Road Safety, a total of 93 crashes were reported to have taken place on Popondetta Rd between 2005 and 2015.
Of those, 70 resulted in injury and 16 of those were serious injuries.
One of the most recent incidents on Popondetta Rd occurred earlier this month when what was believed to be a 4WD crashed through the fences of four homes (see panel on facing page).
A council spokesman said the majority of the 8600 drivers who used the road every day were safe and the road itself had measures to promote road-user safety.
“The four roundabouts, five pedestrian refuges, the raised pedestrian crossing and the 50km/h speed limit and a 40km/h limit at Chifley College and at the shops are all designed to keep the road safe for all users,” the spokesman said.
The council has received just six complaints about the road since 2007 and averaged less than one complaint per year over the 10-year period.
“Blacktown City Council occasionally receives complaints about speeding on Popondetta Rd and these are referred to the police for enforcement,” the spokesman said.
“Council officers are not legislatively authorised to take action against driving offences.
“These issues are strictly the jurisdiction of NSW Police.”
Mt Druitt crime manager Detective Inspector Dave Goddard said Popondetta Rd did not stand out as a problem road.
“Popondetta Rd is a busy road in the command,” Insp Goddard said.
“Like all roads, people should be cautious when driving. Common sense should be used and caution should be taken at all times.”
He reiterated the NSW Police standard warnings for road users.
Popondetta Rd – which is council owned and operated – did not fill certain criteria to label a stretch of road as a black spot.
“A location can be considered for black-spot crash treatment funding once there have been three casualty crashes over five years,” a council spokesman said.
“Fortunately for all who use Popondetta Rd, this has not happened.”
Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said the responsibility of safe roads was for all road users.
“We closely monitor all NSW roads and intersections to identify where we can improve safety,” Mr Carlon said.
“When it comes to road safety and driving the road toll Towards Zero, it’s up to all of us to play our part, whether you’re a driver, rider, cyclist or pedestrian.” If you think your road is unsafe or prone to dangerous driving, you can contact Blacktown Council on 9839 6000 during business hours.
A location can be considered for black-spot crash treatment funding once there have been three casualty crashes over five years. Fortunately for all who use Popondetta Rd, this has not happened
Ron and Margaret Logue with their damaged fence.