New school crossing delayed
A signalised pedestrian crossing scheduled for the Dampier Highway school zone by the beginning of the school year has been delayed until the next set of school holidays.
The current wigwag warning lights at the Dampier Highway and Broadhurst Road intersection, adjacent to Karratha Senior High School, have been a safety concern since they were installed and there have long been calls for a safer way for pedestrians to cross the otherwise 70km/h road.
Last September Main Roads WA said they expected to install a signalised pelican crossing — which would be the first in regional WA — by December, in time for the beginning of the school year.
But as children went back to school last week, the wigwag warning lights were still in place and are set to stay there until the April school holidays.
Main Roads media manager Dean Roberts said the delay was to ensure the crossing was properly installed and fit all the necessary requirements.
He said Main Roads recognised the wigwag lights had been a safety issue on Dampier Highway and the new crossing would be an improvement.
“A wigwag crossing is only effective at controlling or stopping vehicles when there is a crossing attendant present,” he said.
“A pelican crossing is a formal control device so when a pedestrian presses the button the traffic will be stopped on a red signal.”
“This option is safer for all pedestrians while still ensuring traffic flow when there are no pedestrians present.”