Too dangerous to wait

Firefighters had to cut a woman from her car following an accident 1km south of the Coolum roundabout last Thursday.
Firefighters had to cut a woman from her car following an accident 1km south of the Coolum roundabout last Thursday. John Mccutcheon

QUEENSLAND'S new Speaker has spoken up about the state of the Sunshine Motorway following another serious accident south of the Coolum roundabout last week.

Fiona Simpson has called for "rumble strips", wider marked separation between the two carriageways and a lower speed limit as stop gap measures until the Transport and Main Roads Department gets around to the planned motorway duplication.

In last Thursday's accident, firefighters had to cut a woman from her crumpled car and lift her through the back window after a head-on crash on the Sunshine Mwy.

Witnesses said the Mazda sedan and a Commodore station wagon collided, throwing the sedan 50m through the air just south of the Coolum-Yandina Rd roundabout.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

Special unit firefighters had to climb through the back window of the crushed sedan to release the trapped woman from her seatbelt after the car rolled.

Both women were taken to Nambour General Hospital.

It was the second major accident on the stretch this month, after two male tourists were killed crashing through the roundabout after dark.

Ms Simpson said she spoke to Transport Minister Scott Emerson following the fatalities on May 5 and Thursday's crash.

"Ultimately the answer will be a major road duplication but, in the meantime, a relatively simple upgrade with rumble strips and wider marked separation between the two carriageways and a lower speed limit would dramatically improve driver compliance," she said.

A department spokesman confirmed funding was secured to make safety improvements to the road, including a reduction of the speed limit, with work scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 financial year. Improvements between Mooloolaba and Peregian would include a painted centre median with audio-tactile line marking and chevrons, reduced lane width and a speed limit reduction to 90km/h.

Queensland police are becoming increasingly concerned at the number of drivers dying on our roads this year. State Traffic Support Branch Superintendent Andy Morrow said it was appalling that 75 drivers including motorcycle riders were among the 102 people killed this year.

"In as many as 50 cases, we suspect the drivers who were killed may have been at fault, either driving too fast for the conditions, drink driving, losing concentration and so forth.

"Each person who dies on our roads has their own stories, their own families, their own friends and then they are gone, killed in the most tragic of circumstances."

Topics:  car crash, coolum, coolum roundabout, department of transport and main roads, fiona simpson, roads, sunshine motorway



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