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Potential danger at Dodemaides Road


Late last year Vicroads changed speed signs on the approach to Trafalgar from Moe to make the Davey Drive/Princes Highway intersection safer. Before the changes, much of the traffic arriving at Davey Drive was travelling well in excess of 60 kph, even though there was a 60 kph sign about 100 metres from the intersection. Signage went abruptly from 110 kph to 60 kph, which was insufficient warning for traffic to slow.
The solution was to commence an 80 kph zone 800 metres back and it has worked. While it is not perhaps the ideal solution, it has seen a significant improvement. Traffic is travelling noticeably slower when it arrives at Davey Drive.
The other end of town has a similar problem according to some of the residents who contacted Traf District News to put their case. Spokesman Dennis Jones organised a group of concerned residents to talk to this paper. Dennis hastened to add that Vicroads was aware that changes are needed and the work was supposed to occur last year, but nothing has eventuated.
Anne, a Dodemaides Road resident, told us “Turning right from Dodemaides is definitely difficult and quite dangerous – in fact when you look at the size of the gap between lanes and the fact that there is a right turn lane off the highway as well as a U turn lane coming from Traf there definitely isn’t any space or design for cars from Dodemaides to sit in the middle and turn right.
“When we were first here I used to try turning there but then one time I crossed into the middle just as a 4WD vehicle pulled into the right turn lane coming from Yarragon – he couldn’t turn past me to cross the highway and I couldn’t see a thing to be able to turn right – it was a stalemate until I took the risk of pulling out blind and I have never turned right out of there again.”
The main problem appears to be that inbound traffic is allowed to be travelling at 80 kph. The 60 kph zone doesn’t commence until after the Dodemaides Road intersection.
Dennis Jones and his team believe changing the speed signs would have a positive effect. “Changing the current 80 sign for a 60 sign and slowing approaching traffic down from further back – similar to what occurred at the other end of town – should be effective and inexpensive.
“It would also help cut down noise which is quite significant. When trucks see the current 60 sign and apply their engine brakes, it becomes very noisy. We are all aware that Vicroads has a responsibility to keep traffic moving but safety and comfort should also be major considerations.
“We believe that with very little expense both safety and noise levels could be improved significantly.”
Dennis spoke to MP Wayne Farnham who said he was aware of the problem having driven through it several times recently and Wayne offered to follow up with Vicroads local people to move the project along.
Footnote: At the time of writing, 80k speed signs on the West bound lanes have been changed to 60.