Our View (13-6-2018): Crash Corner

CRASH Corner again lived up to its name on the long weekend, when a two-car collision left four people in hospital.

The junction where Copper Coast Highway meets the Augusta Highway — where vehicles travelling from Yorke Peninsula must stop and give way before turning right toward Port Wakefield — is infamous for accidents.

In theory, navigating the corner is not difficult. As with every other T junction, vehicles at the stop sign must look both ways and proceed when the coast is clear. But I have seen several drivers take chances, pulling out in front of traffic coming from Port Wakefield, perhaps not realising those vehicles are travelling at 100km/h or more.

Others look right but forget to look left, likely thinking they do not have to worry about vehicles from that direction, but forgetting about motorists turning right toward YP.

Scarily, I have heard of drivers taking a sharp right turn head on into traffic.

Regardless of the different reasons people incorrectly navigate the turn, the intersection is clearly a problem.

The state government promised to spend big on a bridge so drivers would not have to stop and give way, instead passing over the national highway and merging closer to Wakefield.

There is also a worthwhile push for dual lanes through Wakefield in both directions, to avoid traffic jams. Vehicles again bottlenecked trying to get through Wakefield on Monday, although the situation was almost certainly exacerbated by the crash.

A bypass is the preferred option of many but is simply too expensive. I’d rather dual lanes be installed within the next few years than wait decades for a bypass.

To create dual lanes and build an overpass will require support from the federal government, so could be complicated.

Both would be ideal but if the overpass can improve safety year-round, as opposed to the dual lanes which are required primarily for peak traffic times, it must be the priority. History tells us more crashes are bound to happen at that corner, and those involved in the future might not be so lucky.

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