Right turn con­fu­sion

Drivers ig­nore new road rule

The Northern Star - - NEWS - MARC STAPEL­BERG marc.stapel­[email protected]­ern­star.com.au

DRIVERS are bla­tantly ig­nor­ing the “no right turn” rule at a dan­ger­ous Al­stonville in­ter­sec­tion.

In­tro­duced as part of a raft of safety mea­sures, the new rule for­bids rights turns from Bal­lina Rd onto the Bruxner Hwy be­tween 3pm and 6pm.

It came into ef­fect on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

But when The North­ern Star vis­ited dur­ing that time frame, many drivers were ei­ther un­aware of the rule or were ig­nor­ing it.

More than 10 ve­hi­cles turned right at the Al­stonville sec­tion in the first 20 min­utes after 3pm.

The new in­ter­sec­tion had a flash­ing sign on ap­proach, a yel­low sign and then a sign at the in­ter­sec­tion in­form­ing drivers that the road was closed for turn­ing right from 3pm.

Drivers did not seem to re­alise they had made a mis­take, es­pe­cially when there was a ve­hi­cle al­ready in the turn­ing right lane.

Bal­lina MP Ta­mara Smith says she had al­ready re­ceived com­plaints about the rule.

“I’ve had con­stituents say this move is go­ing to in­crease traf­fic back through Al­stonville’s Main Street – re­duc­ing that was the whole point of build­ing the Al­stonville By­pass in the first place,” she said.

“The in­creased traf­fic will also be go­ing past the school safety cross­ing dur­ing the peak hours when the three lo­cal schools let stu­dents out.

“An­other con­stituent said they be­lieved that bus op­er­a­tors and se­nior cit­i­zens had not been given enough no­tice of the right hand turn ban.”

Ms Smith said her com­mu­nity sur­vey - which was com­pleted by more than 1000 res­i­dents - showed peo­ple felt un­safe at the in­ter­sec­tion.

She said that res­i­dents de­served a proper so­lu­tion to the prob­lem.

“The RMS and the Min­is­ter need to be ur­gently look­ing at fund­ing and plan­ning a proper, safe in­ter­change for this in­ter­sec­tion, with over­passes and un­der­passes so that the pop­u­la­tion of the Al­stonville – Wol­long­bar Plateau can feel safe en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing Al­stonville,” she said.

Photo: North­ern Star

WRONG WAY: Drivers can no longer turn right at this dan­ger­ous Al­stonville in­ter­sec­tion be­tween 3-6pm after nu­mer­ous crashes, in­clud­ing a num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties, at the site.

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