Calls for safety measures rise after Blue Mountains crashes

Published 08 Jul 2020

Across Australia, there are plenty of places where motor vehicle accidents seem to be somewhat more common than they perhaps should be, and many residents would like to see more done to reduce risk. Just such an issue recently arose in the Blue Mountains, where a stretch of the Great Western Highway seems to be home to a too-high number of crashes.

After a pair of recent accidents at or near Wentworth Falls multiple drivers or passengers dead, local officials have asked for a safety audit of a particularly dangerous intersection, according to the Blue Mountains Gazette. Efforts from councillors Kerry Brown and Romola Hollywood to ask Transport for NSW for safety upgrades have received widespread support, and it is believed that something as simple as adding traffic lights to nearby intersections will reduce the risk at the problematic site.

Why it's important now

While any serious accident is a cause for concern, local officials say that the matter is even more pressing after intra-state travel was lifted in the wake of wildfires and the pandemic's shutdown because more people are once again taking to the roads, the report said. Whether the state government will take steps to improve safety conditions in the area remains to be seen.

A slow start to the year?

It's worth noting that, as of this writing, there were 161 traffic deaths on NSW roads so far in 2020, roughly 11.5% behind the pace seen over the same period last year, according to state statistics. Meanwhile, serious injuries that required hospitalisation were only down by about 6.4% as of mid-May. The good news is that numbers have been on mostly a downward slope since 1996, but today's numbers are up from the all-time low rates of death seen in 2014, when just 307 people died on NSW roads.

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