The fatal crash occurred when a vehicle being driven south on Long Plains Road drove across Bridgenorth Road without giving way, police say, where it was hit by a Toyota Hilux travelling west.
It was a set of circumstances familiar to residents in the area, who said the Long Plains Road approach had been an issue for years due to a blind spot and lack of approaching signage.
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Linda White – who lives about 50 metres away – said she had seen multiple accidents and countless examples of motorists not seeing the give way signs and driving across the intersection.
“You see cars flying through there quite often. You think to yourself, ‘I’m glad someone wasn’t coming the other way’,” she said.
“They just don’t slow down enough, or even give way at all, and then it’s a blind corner when you look towards the football club.
“It’s a busy intersection, you have people who live up in Rosevale, Notley Fern, Exeter, they travel through here, and you’ve got the football ground just down the road.
“It was an accident waiting to happen.”
Another neighbour, who lives on the Stokes Lane-side of the intersection, said it needed a stop sign to force vehicles to come to a stop, and rumble strips on the approach.
“I’ve seen numerous cars come up the Long Plains Road – where that car came yesterday – and for some reason they do not realise there’s an intersection there,” he said.
“If they’re doing 100, they just come straight through whatever speed they’re doing.
“If you’re watching it, you just feel terrible, you hope nothing happens.”
When approaching on Bridgenorth Road from the football club, a left-hand bend gives less than 100 metres visibility to the intersection in a 100 kmph zone.
The Stokes Lane resident said the speed limit should be reduced through the area.
“If you’re pulling out onto Bridgenorth Road, especially in a truck, it takes a while to get around there and cars coming from the football club direction won’t have much time to slow down,” he said.
Safety issues raised with West Tamar Council and State Growth
Residents say they raised the safety issues with West Tamar Council, which forwarded concerns on to the Department of State Growth.
While the roads themselves were a council responsibility, the need for infrastructure upgrades – including signage and rumble strips – was ultimately determined by State Growth.
West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl said the council had in the past inspected the intersection and passed the information to the department.
“Council has, at the request of residents, gone out and inspected the site and also discussed and forwarded those concerns to State Growth which is the authority that controls what signs go up,” she said.
“We’ve made representations to State Growth on this matter, once at least.
“One of the real problems is that when issues like this come up and they’re investigated, it comes down to driver behaviour.”
State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson said the government would work with councils to ensure safe roads.
“We all want our roads to be as safe as possible and the Government will work with the West Tamar Council to achieve this,” he said.
“Like all Tasmanians, my thoughts and personal prayers today are for the families and friends impacted by this tragedy.”