Community consultation needed on dangerous section of road

RACQ has called on the Department of Transport and Main Roads to work with the community on a solution for a Gold Coast Hinterland road, to make it safer for motorists and wildlife.

ABC News reported locals were angered by the lack of consultation over the installation of solid guard rails along an eight-kilometre stretch of Beaudesert-Nerang Road, which left road users nowhere to pull over safely and no gaps for wildlife to pass through.

Club spokesperson Paul Turner said it was one of the more dangerous sections of Beaudesert-Nerang Road which made it challenging for drivers, and with high crash rates, safety improvements were needed.

“We support TMR working with the community on a solution that improves road safety without adversely impacting wildlife in these sensitive hinterland areas, such as providing small gaps in the ‘rub rail’ or minimising its length along with barrier support post crash cushions to reduce motorcyclist injuries.   

“If safety barriers narrow the road shoulder and make it difficult for drivers to move out of a traffic lane in an emergency, we believe short gaps in the barrier or safe stopping bays should be installed at regular intervals to allow drivers to move completely off the road onto the shoulder,” Mr Turner said.

“However, in hinterland areas, it’s difficult to find the balance between providing those gaps in the barrier, as the roadsides are often steep.

“Unless it’s an emergency or your car has come to a complete stop, we want to see motorists try to find a safer and more accessible area to pullover if possible.”

Mr Turner said it could also be difficult for tow trucks to provide assistance on the stretch of road.

“This is a perfect example of why we’re calling for new road rules to be introduced, that would require motorists to move over and slow down at incidents, to provide a safer space for workers and motorists,” he said.

“A risk assessment is done at every job we attend to make sure our members, patrols and Traffic Response Officers are kept safe and we also have options like using a bump truck or calling in for an emergency escort if needed.

“But for that extra level of protection we would like to see other motorists moving over to allow our teams plenty of room to get stranded motorists to safety.”