A tragic crash which claimed the lives of two Highlands women has lead to multiple calls for improved road safety.
Gabrielle Stewart was involved in fatal crash at Golden Vale Road, Sutton Forest on July 19.
Mrs Berlio O’Brien and Gabrielle Stewart died at the intersection of Golden Vale Road and the Hume Highway.
Mayor Ken Halstead raised his concerns about the highway crossing during the Mayoral Minute of the July 26 council meeting.
Cr Halstead said he was “totally opposed” to local roads crossing the freeway.
Gabrielle’s daughter Natasha Stewart said she fully supported Cr Halstead’s views.
“The immediate cessation of right hand turns when exiting Golden Vale Road ought to be implemented and I support the mayor's view,” she said.
“Crossing two very busy lanes of south bound traffic travelling at 110km per hour is required prior to entering fast paced moving traffic north bound in order to affect a right hand turn. This is obviously inherently dangerous.”
Natasha questioned why an underpass or overpass had not been constructed in the area.
“Overpasses are used on most freeways but in rural areas sufficient upgrades have not taken place,” she said.
Cr Graham McLaughlin said a flyover or bridge, while costly, would be a much safer option than the current crossing across the highway.
“The RMS needs to look very carefully at this. I think that it’s something that should only be a left turn until there’s a safe access.”
Natasha said lighting at the intersection was also something that needed to be addressed.
“There has been a significant increase in traffic on the Hume Highway and it is imperative that measures are implemented to ensure that entry and exit roads are made safer.
“It ought to be mandatory for all intersections with highways and freeways to be lit.”
Vegetation was another issue she raised.
“There is impaired vision to the right when entering the Hume Highway from Golden Vale Road [and] the growth appears to be a result of lack of maintenance,” she said.
Natasha said that regular inspections should be conducted to ensure that the growth of flora did not affect drivers’ vision.
“At present drivers are forced to drive beyond the white give way dotted lines to see to the right. Why is that not being attended to today?” she said.
The daughter of Mrs Stewart said she wanted some positive changes to come out of the tragedy.
“I would like to see all entrances to highways and freeways have mandatory overhead lighting and I would like this particular intersection to be made safe,” she said.
“It can be the gift of two ‘aging gracefully ladies’ to the community of the Southern Highlands.”