Stock pose big threat
Cattle roam freely on Kennedy Highway
A FAR Northern highway has taken on a new danger for drivers, with a flood of reports of cattle roaming the high traffic area.
A popular route for commuters, motorists have taken to social media outraged at the frequent sights of cows on the Kennedy Highway between Cairns and Mareeba.
The presence of the large animals has also landed a 54year-old man in hospital this week after colliding with a cow on the highway near Titchum Creek.
He suffered a severely broken leg and collarbone as well as other injuries and remains in Cairns Hospital after almost a week.
Riding with him at the time was friend Mick Dowling, who said it was a concern that the animals were out roaming.
“The vehicle in front of us swerved to the opposite lane of the highway to avoid the cow that ran up on to the road in front of him,” he said.
“He just clipped the cow and knocked it out and it collapsed in the middle of the road in front of us.
“We were on motorbikes and we had nowhere to go and my mate ended up hitting the cow. I somehow just swerved in time and only clipped it and stayed upright.”
Mr Dowling is calling for solutions and for the owner of the cattle to take more responsibility for his animals.
“Does someone have to die for this farmer to collect his cattle and keep them behind fences?”
Laura Freeman also reported seeing three cows and three calves standing in the middle of the road on Kennedy Highway near Titchum Creek earlier this week.
A Mareeba Shire Council spokesman said the council had contacted the owner and investigations were continuing. “If there are reports of cattle on the road, council officers will investigate and put warning signs on the road to alert motorists,” he said.
“If possible, contact is made with the owners of the stock and efforts are made to move the stock out of harm’s way.
“This stretch of road is controlled by Queensland Department of Main Roads – any (permanent) signage would need to be at their discretion.”
DANGER: Cattle spotted on the Kennedy Highway.