Traf­fic is­sues not deemed black spots un­til they reach a ca­su­alty quota

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis

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.

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