Crash sparks upgrade call

CONCERN: Campaigner Kelli Finlayson, accident victim mother Clare Peace and Simon Ramsay MP at the Orton St and Presidents Ave intersection.

A road accident that seriously injured a teenager motorcyclist has inspired more than 2000 Ocean Grove residents to petition for a safety upgrade.

Concerned locals are worried the intersection of Presidents Ave and Orton St being a blind spot and will result in another serious injury or death.

Tyler Pearce, 18, has since undergone three operations after colliding with a car at the notorious intersection on 23 April.

Locals gathered at the intersection on Saturday with Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay to raise their concerns about the potential death trap.

The intersection, one of the town’s busiest, provides access to the town’s popular beach and its traditional shopping strip.

City of Greater Geelong’s strategic plan for Ocean Grove identifies the intersection as dangerous.

Locals feared that a fatal accident would be inevitable without safety improvements, Mr Ramsay said.

“The great frustration here is that everyone knows this is a treacherous intersection,” he said.

Mr Ramsay put the concerns to state parliament last week, asking what Roads Minister Luke Donnellan what he was doing about the intersection.

“This is a blind spot known to residents over many years. It has been brought to the attention of the government and to VicRoads but unfortunately no action has been taken up to this point in time,” Mr Ramsay told parliament.

“My understanding is that VicRoads is aware of this very dangerous blind spot due to the diligent advocacy of local residents.”

More than 2000 people had already signed the petition seeking safety improvements, Mr Ramsay said.

“I understand (that) VicRoads is hesitant to put in traffic lights as per the urban plan. It is blaming its reticence on land negotiations for another site unrelated to this intersection.“

Mr Ramsay asked in parliament whether Mr Donnellan was giving VicRoads a “very strong directive” to deliver a safety upgrade.

“This must become a top road safety priority,” Mr Ramsay said.

“Tyler Peace is alive but others may not be so lucky in the future.”

The petition is online at bit.ly/FixOrton.

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