#schoolsafety | Dana Street Primary School calls for Black Spot road safety upgrade | The Courier

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After years of accidents and almost daily near-misses, the Dana Street Primary School community has had enough. They’re calling for federal road safety upgrade funding for the Dawson Street intersection, which is often blocked with backed-up traffic, making crossing Dana Street dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. While they’re leaving what form the measures will take to VicRoads and the City of Ballarat, they agree something must be done. WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW One parent at the school, Lucinda Adamson, had just picked up her seven-year-old daughter when she struck a car which had allegedly failed to give way in October 2019. “Our car spun right around into Dawson Street, their car ended up on the footpath, crashing into a tree – his wife was 38 weeks pregnant,” she said. “I always knew it was dangerous, there’s been a few near misses, and I’ve been behind a car at this intersection when it was turning left and it ran into a student on their bike. READ MORE: Pregnant woman rescued after car accident at Dana Street Primary School “It’s concerning – if something’s not done to make the intersections safer, then something bad will happen.” Principal Natalie Toohey said she’d seen about five or six crashes a year while she had been in the role, with the latest crash happening on the last week of school last year. “When the Doveton Street lights are red, the traffic banks up for at least a block, blocking the intersection,” she said. “A lot of cars do try to move across, it just becomes a very congested area. “It really needs some work desperately.” School council vice-president Steven Rothberg said the intersection needed more signs and perhaps a “keep clear” warning, at the very least. READ MORE: ‘A well-known problem’: Improving road safety at a busy park getting busier “It’s a dangerous intersection at the times of day when there are lots of kids around – it’s one of those things, I think, that because Ballarat’s growing, the intersection and the traffic management around it hasn’t changed to keep up with it,” he said. “If you can slow traffic as it’s coming through at Dawson Street, it just makes sense that we have something to slow the traffic as well as warn them.” The school community’s calls have been supported by federal Ballarat MP Catherine King, who said Black Spot funding would mitigate risks. READ MORE: Another big year of roadworks across Ballarat to ease population squeeze “There’s 250 young children, parents trying to pick up and drop off, it’s well past time we got some funding to improve road safety at this intersection,” she said. Black Spots are areas identified by councils, VicRoads, and community members that need urgent safety upgrades – in the past two years, intersections at Cuthberts Road, Victoria Park, Redan, and Soldiers Hill have been allocated funding, as well as Wendouree West and Mair Street in the CBD. Black Spot funding was used in 2016 to upgrade the Dawson Street and Urquhart Street intersection two blocks from the school. Ms King said a committee chooses which submissions to fund based on accident data, and projects do not always require matched funding from other levels of government. Ms Toohey said she hoped drivers would pay attention to calls to slow down and take extra care around the school. “Being in the middle of town is quite unique in Ballarat for a school, and it brings lots of advantages for us, but obviously huge dangers,” she said. IN THE NEWS “It’s a small catchment of people we’re communicating with, it’s more the wider area that need that reminding. “The 40km/h zones are there for a reason, schools are potentially very dangerous places – the most vulnerable people in our community are the people who don’t have peripheral vision yet, and children who aren’t yet aware of the safety dangers. “We need adults to do that for them, everyone needs to be aware.” Have you signed up to The Courier’s variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that’s happening in Ballarat.

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