Council's Capella roadwork crew Ash Eddy, Anthony Wells and Greg Irwin think the signs help people to slow down.
Council's Capella roadwork crew Ash Eddy, Anthony Wells and Greg Irwin think the signs help people to slow down. Jorunn Lorenzen

New speed signs: Motorists out west to slow down for a smile

CENTRAL Highlands' roads are getting a major safety upgrade, which will see drivers take their foot of the accelerator to earn a smile.

The council recently purchased three mobile speed watch trailers for safety around council's roadwork sites, which could also be used in areas where speeding is an issue, including around school zones.

Officer in Charge of Capella police station, Senior Constable Andrew Finall said it was a positive and proactive move.

Officer in Charge of Capella Police Station, Snr Constable Andrew Finall was a finalist in the 2018 QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards.
Officer in Charge of Capella Police Station, Senior Constable Andrew Finall. Kristen Booth

"It's good council is being proactive and working with police to help improve safety by bringing in temporary signs,” Snr Const Finall said.

"However, it would be good to see permanent electronic school signs in school zones, something I have been working on getting for the past three to four years in Capella.

"I will continue to work with council to see those permanent school signs to combat speeding and road safety.”

Snr Const Finall, who has worked in Capella since 2015, said he would like to see the temporary signs on streets where speed measures needed to be put in place. His top three picks were Conran St (as you head out towards Tieri) and both ends of Peak Downs St.

"Conran St in particular is quite a long designated school zone with a high-risk traffic intersection,” he said.

"A majority of my speeding offences have been along this road and in a designated section where we see these children crossing on a daily basis.

"While speeding is not out of control, it is constant.

"I have statistical data from over the years that have identified speeds have varied along those sections of road from your standard 40-60km/h when the speed zones are enforced right up to 90-100km/h plus on a constant basis.

"The highest speed recorded on that road is 135km/h. That shows people are abusing speed limits.

"It frustrates me because I don't want to be in a position where an accident happens. I want to be proactive in approaching this and keeping the community safe.”

Council's roadwork crews welcomed the signs and a recent test along a worksite near Capella showed they were working.

"Most cars slow down when they see the sign and that is really positive for us,” Supervisor Anthony Wells said.

"At the end of the day, we want to go home to our families safely when working on the roads and we want people travelling to reach their destination safely as well.”

Mayor Kerry Hayes said the trailers served as a timely reminder to people to slow down, drive to conditions and be mindful of other road users.

"We plan to place a trailer along Rifle Range Rd, Emerald, after recent concerns about driver behaviour,” Cr Hayes said.

"We are all privy to being distracted drivers, therefore it is important that we remind ourselves that it is not about arriving faster but arriving in one piece and not at the cost of someone else's health or life.

"The signs are a simple visual reminder for people to slow down.

"If an oncoming car exceeds the speed limit set on the trailer a sad face and slow down message shows on the display.

"Once the car travels at or below the speed limit, a green smiley face lights up.”