Rocky road for stacks

MP urges mo­torists to dob in near misses to po­lice

The Weekend Post - - News - DANIEL BATE­MAN daniel.bate­ ed­i­to­rial@ cairn­ face­­sPost www.cairn­ twit­­sPost

BAR­RON River MP Craig Craw­ford be­lieves more road safety ac­tion needs to be taken at the bal­anc­ing rocks site near Wangetti than adding signs.

There are re­newed calls to fix the “death trap” at the site of the the stone stacks along the Cap­tain Cook High­way, half­way be­tween Palm Cove and Port Dou­glas.

The pop­u­lar road­side at­trac­tion, which ap­pears in a Tourism and Events Queens- land cam­paign, is on a blind cor­ner with a speed limit of 80km/h.

A Cairns minibus driver came for­ward this week after al­most ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a head-on col­li­sion with an­other ve­hi­cle that swerved into his north­bound lane, to avoid a mo­torist who had sud­denly pulled off the high­way to check out the rock site.

The Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads is in­vesti- gat­ing whether no-stand­ing signs could be used to dis­cour­age north­bound ve­hi­cles park­ing on the road’s west­ern side.

Mr Craw­ford, whose elec­torate takes in Wangetti Beach, said he was con­cerned the at­trac­tion was be­com­ing a se­ri­ous road safety haz­ard.

“I agree there needs to be some work, but it’s more than just drop­ping some bi­tu­men on the ground or a cou­ple of signs,” he said.

“I think we need to look at this a bit bet­ter, par­tic­u­larly from a law en­force­ment per­spec­tive, as well as Main Roads.”

Po­lice say there is lit­tle they can do to im­prove safety at the bal­anc­ing rocks site un­less mo­torists re­port il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing near misses with other ve­hi­cles. Mr Craw­ford en­cour­aged peo­ple to come for­ward and re­port safety is­sues to au­thor­i­ties.

“The more re­ports of near misses and safety is­sues we get there, the higher the weight­ing that safety works is placed on there,” he said.

“We don’t want to be at a stage where we’re re­port­ing ac­ci­dents or fa­tal­i­ties, but cer­tainly near-misses will help the case.”

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