Reduce Speed Limit from 100 to 60 to reduce native wildlife deaths & ensure community safe
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We request an urgent reduction in the speed limit from the Wildlife Sign outside 355 Great Ocean Road Marengo through to Elliott River Road and beyond to Forans Track from 100km to 60 km in order to preserve wildlife and for human safety.
"Last week two beautiful healthy koalas lost their lives on the Great Ocean Rd at Marengo. These victims join several other koalas, wallabies, echidnas, possums and birds killed or injured here. This section of the road allows for 100 km/h as it passes the Marengo Nature Conservation Reserve and increasing bushland and forests. Studies have shown that a reduction in speed of just 10 km/h reduces the chance of hitting wildlife by as much as 20%.
The Apollo Bay School Bus Stop aligns itself along this road multiple times with a speed limit of 100km. Several children from the community must cross this road to make way to the bus stop to board the bus to school putting their lives in danger as cars zoom by at 100km. Many of these cars are driven by tourists that do not know the area and how to navigate these roads which further increases the danger of crossing roads for the school children.
Apart from human safety consideration there is an increasing number of wildlife being hit, killed or injured on this section of the road. Numerous wallabies, possums, kangaroos koalas, echidnas, and birds have been injured or killed.
Another factor is the frequent occurrence of the number of tourists stopping in unsafe sections of the road to watch wildlife, particularly koalas. The tourists become oblivious to the traffic and wander over the road often looking at their phones not observing the 100km section of the Great Ocean Road.
The question is why if the Great Ocean Road up to this point has a general 80km speed limit it is increased to 100km at this point where much more wildlife resides. Opposite the 100km sign is the Marengo Water Basin and the Marengo Nature Reserve which many birds and mammals frequent. Then motorists enter the Great Otway Park on a windy road and are able to drive at 100km an hour. Vic Roads have acknowledged wildlife is in this area by erecting appropriate signage but increases the speed limit fro 60km to 100km at this point.
Another point in favour of a reduced speed limit is the planned and approved eco-tourism Wildlife Wonders project created and managed by the Cape Otway Conservation Ecology Centre that will house Australian wildlife in a natural setting within a predator proof fence and be designed to educate visitors and support conservation efforts for Australian wildlife. This will be located within the current 100km zone at 475 Great Ocean Rd, Marengo. This development should be finalised by Jun 2020. This means more cars that enter a transitory lane are put at risk of a 100km zone feeding into a 15km possibility.
A reduction in the speed limit is now becoming an urgent safety and compassionate necessity.
We are requesting that preventative measures are implemented before we have human fatalities and this speed limit be reduced for the community's safety and for that of our local wild life. If possible, we are also requesting that Vic Roads see the feasability of engineering a tunnel that allows wildlife to cross safely across this highly traversed road that endangers many lives of our local wildlife.
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