Who is at fault: the road or the drivers? | EDITORIAL

It’s one of the longest-running debates on the Fleurieu Peninsula: is it Victor Harbor Road that needs fixing, or the drivers on that road?

There are arguments for both, absolutely. 

Many of you, like us, are on that road regularly and the dips and potholes have become so ingrained in our brains that we automatically avoid them. It is frustrating, but we’ve learned to put up with them.

Another aspect is the dangerous drivers on the road – those who go either too fast or too slow, for example.

The hills and bends on the road are unique and can be hazardous if you don’t know how to navigate them. 

Going much slower than the limit to be cautious on the road can present dangers to those doing the limit – if you don’t expect a slower moving vehicle on the other side of a rise or corner, it could be disastrous. 

The question is, how do you educate drivers about the risks of this road? 

With so many tourists flocking to the Fleurieu for day trips and summer getaways, it is hard to think of a simple solution. 

An upgrade of the road is hotly-debated within the community – The Times’ senior journalist Emmalie even sat on a panel on ABC Radio’s Drive program on Monday to discuss it – and it will be one of the regional issues talked about around the election.

The RAA has launched a campaign imploring political parties to commit to fixing the road. RAA wants to see a duplication of Victor Harbor Road from the intersection with Main South Road through to Mount Compass, as well as road widening and wide centreline treatment between Mount Compass and Victor Harbor.

RAA’s engagement and innovation general manager Penny Gale said although significant works have been done on some stretches of the road, it wasn’t enough.

Between 2012 and 2016, there were five fatal crashes among the 87 casualty crashes.

“Action is needed to boost safety on this popular stretch,” she said. “Improving the infrastructure isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s a big part of the solution.”

There needs to be a balance between the driver education side of things and improving the infrastructure. It’s a cycle.

Anything which could improve safety of life should be welcomed with open arms. We hope our politicians recognise this.

And while we wait for our politicians to commit to the upgrade – or come up with another idea to fix things – please take care on our roads.

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