Simple solution

The tragic death of Bree Nicolo in 2016 at the Bridgewater freeway interchange is a sobering reminder of the fragility of life.
Nothing can change the outcome of the accident or reduce the suffering of her loved ones. But her untimely death should serve as a warning for others and every reasonable measure should be taken to prevent another such tragedy from occurring at that site.
While the cause of the accident was misjudgment, there are many factors that play into the outcome of a collision.
The pleas for change at the intersection, made by a family whose lives will never be the same, are simple and easy to execute.
Extending the 60km/h speed limit across the entire interchange and installing a stop sign in place of a give way sign are logical ways to improve safety at the site and will cause very little inconvenience to motorists or cost to taxpayers.
Bree’s accident was not the only one to occur at the site, with two other reported casualty crashes – including one resulting in serious injury – occurring there within the decade.
The suggested measures are likely to be effective in reducing both the likelihood of accidents and the impact should they occur.
As a newly appointed Transport Minister, Stephan Knoll could have taken the opportunity to prove that his Government was efficient, logical and in touch with its constituents.
But instead, what could have been a simple, quick change has become entangled by layers of bureaucracy, while the Government waits for an investigation into an accident that occurred more than two years ago.
It is important that Governments act on evidence and the recommendations of experts.
But the State Government is fully aware of the impact speed has on the outcome of a vehicle accident, stating on its own My Licence website that a speed increase of just 5km/h can have significant bearing on a car’s braking time and the impact during a collision.
Bree could have been any one of us.
And while the changes proposed by her parents won’t bring her back, they will bring some comfort to a devastated family through the knowledge that another family may be spared from suffering in the same way.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.