Cross­ing boost for safety

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Pedes­trian safety at the Dampier High­way school zone has re­ceived a long-awaited boost with the in­stal­la­tion of the first sig­nalised pedes­trian cross­ing in North West WA.

A pel­i­can cross­ing, a small pedes­trian-con­trolled cross­ing with timed traf­fic lights, was con­structed at Dampier High­way and Broad­hurst Road in­ter­sec­tion over the school hol­i­days to re­place the former wig-wag warn­ing lights, which have been the source of much con­fu­sion.

A Main Roads WA spokes­woman said the new cross­ing would make traf­fic sig­nals clearer for both pedes­tri­ans and drivers.

“A wig-wag cross­ing is de­signed as a warn­ing de­vice, and is only ef­fec­tive for con­trol­ling or stop­ping ve­hi­cles when there is a cross­ing at­ten­dant present,” she said.

“The wig-wag cross­ing was re­placed with a pel­i­can cross­ing ... as this was con­sid­ered to be a safer method to con­trol traf­fic and pedes­tri­ans as it works in the same sense as traf­fic sig­nals.”

The safety of pedes­tri­ans cross­ing Dampier High­way, es­pe­cially stu­dents at Kar­ratha Se­nior High School, whose cam­pus is lo­cated on one side of the road, has been of com­mu­nity con­cern for years and prompted a num­ber of safer cross­ing ideas in­clud­ing an over­pass, un­der­pass and traf­fic lights.

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School prin­ci­pal Jen­nifer McMa­hon wel­comed the new cross­ing, say­ing the area had pre­vi­ously been a high-risk area for stu­dents where there had been “lots of near misses”.

“I think it re­moves the con­fu­sion. It in­creases safety for stu­dents cross­ing the road, but also for peo­ple out­side of school hours and for road users,” she said.

The Main Roads spokes­woman said the area would re­main a school zone in the in­ter­est of pedes­trian safety.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School prin­ci­pal Jen­nifer McMa­hon and stu­dent coun­cil­lors Ai­dyn Cam­plin, 17, Gabbi Dip­pel, 16, and Jorja O'Don­nell, 16, at the new pel­i­can cross­ing on Dampier High­way.

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