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Safety upgrades needed in Seville East

Reading a Newspaper

Friday, 3 May 2019

By Jed Lanyon

A recent online petition for VicRoads to upgrade the Warburton Highway in Seville East gathered more than 1200 signatures after a spate of crashes in the area.

It’s estimated that more than 50 residents took the time to attend a meeting at Seville Town Hall to share their frustrations.

This isn’t a case of a few locals complaining about a couple of cars speeding by, it’s a large group of community members who are frustrated in the lack of infrastructure around their homes.

These are people who have witnessed or been involved in accidents and near collisions within 200 metres of their own homes.

As a Seville resident who uses this road daily, and having reported on this story a couple times, I decided to travel to the site to witness the issue firsthand.

I observed a stretch of the road for 10 minutes and was surprised to note the amount of cars pulling in and out of the side roads in this time.

I opted not to cross the road to get a perspective from the other side, but watched fearfully as a student departed a school bus and cross the busy road to get home.

Residents have shared their experiences on the Seville East Traffic Safety Group Facebook page about their kids having to cross the entire road daily.

One user uploaded a video showing his children sprinting across. While they passed, traffic slowed down for them on the busy highway, only increasing the likelihood of an accident.

Another Facebook user said this road was now impossible to navigate for her son, who is temporarily using crutches.

Why should this be normal for the many residents who live in the area?

It’s clear that this road needs a traffic protection island running along the middle to make the long walk across an easier task.

Victoria Police recently conducted Operation Nexus over the five-day Easter long weekend.

The Mail reported that in the Yarra Ranges during this time, 16 drivers were caught using mobile phones and 13 drink/drug driving.

Why should Seville East residents have to just hope that the person tailgating them at 90km/h, who may or may not be paying attention, will slow down so they can turn to go home?

Turning lanes exist for this very reason. To allow turning traffic to slow down and move out of the way instead of having to come to a stop to make a sharp left turn.

Why should a driver who is making a right-hand turn across the highway be a sitting duck for a rear-end collision because they are forced to be stationary in an overtaking lane?

I urge anyone who uses this road regularly to sign the new formal petition created by the group to increase pressure for immediate change.

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