RATHER than reducing speed limits, District Council of Grant mayor Richard Sage believes the state government needs to bring SA’s country roads back up to acceptable standards.
His frustration follows the state government’s announcement it will reduce the speed limit from 110 kilometres an hour to 100km/hr on eight of the state’s country roads – two of which are in Mr Sage’s district.
“I’m disappointed we weren’t given the opportunity to work with government,” he said. “We offered, as a region on the Limestone Coast, to be a pilot project, to work with the government to make sure our roads are fit for purpose, to conduct audits in conjunction with the government and see what needs to be undertaken to bring them up to speed.”
The affected roads include Andamooka Road (Andamooka to Olympic Dam), Cleve Road (Cleve to Kimba), Goyder Highway (Crystal Brook to Gulnare), Riddoch Highway (Mount Gambier to Port MacDonnell), Ngarkat Highway (Pinnaroo to Bordertown), Browns Well Highway (Loxton to Pinnaroo), Clay Wells Road (Southern Ports Highway to Callendale) and Carpenter Rocks Highway (Carpenter Rocks to Mount Gambier).
Mr Sage said besides the kangaroos, hazards along the Carpenter Rocks Highway were minimal.
“If you look at the two roads they have picked, they are some of the best roads we have got, besides some maintenance needed in small sections,” he said.
According to the RAA, while speeding was a contributing factor in 14 per cent of the crashes on the eight roads, in some cases the vehicle was travelling below the designated speed limit when the crash occurred.
RAA road safety senior manager Charles Mountain said most crashes were attributed to inattention, with only a handful occurring where the driver was either not wearing a seatbelt or driving under the influence.
“It’s pleasing the state government has not gone with a blanket speed reduction for all of SA’s rural roads,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean maintenance of these roads, and other rural roads, can be put on the backburner.”
Australian Conservatives MLC Robert Brokenshire will lead a delegation of SA mayors planning to meet with Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan on the issue.