A MULTIPLE vehicle accident that closed the Pacific Highway at Kundabung on Monday forced many travellers to re-direct their journey along the Maria River Road.
The North Side Progress Association says the decision to divert the traffic further strengthens its consistent calls for the dirt and gravel-surfaced road to be given a higher priority.
The association, established more than 40 years ago, noted that the road was renowned locally for accidents and dangerous driving conditions.
President Kingsley Searle said the road had been an ongoing issue for the association since it’s inception.
“The unusual road runs through two shires joining the north to south. There is a lot of agriculture along the road and quite a bit of traffic,” he said.
As the road is a dirt and gravel surface, the sides are like marble and have caused many cars and trucks to roll of the edge into the side ditch; in fact the road’s residents often pull vehicles out.
“A GPS will redirect traffic along the road, and we’ve found people visiting the area take the road as a tourist drive. This is dangerous because if you are unfamiliar with the road, it ups the likely of an accident,” he said.
Mr Searle said election day saw increased traffic along the road with about three to four vehicles having to be rescued. He said the dust created by other cars along the road was also a big hazard.
“We really are living on borrowed time. We don’t want it to take a fatality on the road for people to realise how dangerous it is.”
Although there have been many accidents along the road, most have gone unreported.
“There is limited data on the road because people are so used to helping others out of the ditch. But we at least need people to call and say they’ve had an accident or take a photo of their car and send it to us so we can record exactly how many accidents have happened,” he said.
The more recorded data, the more likely the road will be fixed, or better managed according to the association.
“Kempsey side isn’t too bad but the Port Macquarie side is quite dangerous. We’ve been liaising with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to see what can be done,” he said.
If you have pictures of an accident along Maria River Road, or would like to learn more about the association email email@example.com or visit www.northsidepa.com/