Near miss sparks speed call

Matthew WoodleyGeraldton Guardian
Indre Asmussen and her daughter Ena, 5, stand at the corner where they nearly had a serious accident last week .
Camera IconIndre Asmussen and her daughter Ena, 5, stand at the corner where they nearly had a serious accident last week . Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Matthew Woodley

A concerned woman has pleaded with authorities to reduce the speed limit along a stretch of North West Coastal Highway after narrowly escaping a head on collision.

Indre Asmussen was waiting to turn onto White Peak Road on January 11 when a car travelling in the opposite direction crossed double white lines to overtake a vehicle that also happened to be turning into the street.

With vehicles travelling on both sides of her at the same time, Ms Asmussen said the only thing that stopped her and her five-year-old daughter from being involved in a serious accident was a spontaneous decision to pull up for the turn earlier than she normally would.

“It was sickening,” she said.

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“There was nowhere to go and there were so many moving vehicles … if something had gone wrong there would have been a lot of people involved.

“It wasn’t a good scenario … we get that quite often, cars overtaking on the double white line. It’s not an isolated case.”

Ms Asmussen, who has lived on White Peak Road on-and-off for 16 years, believes the 110km/h speed limit on that particular stretch of highway is too fast considering the turn-off comes immediately after a blind corner.

She said trucks and fast-moving cars often did not anticipate other vehicles slowing down to turn off, and as a result regularly overtook across double white lines.

“They’ve already cut back the native vegetation on the verge to improve visibility, but I don’t think it’s improved the situation,” she said.

“They’re not expecting there to be people pulling out … a reduced speed limit would give people more time to react.”

Main Roads has told Ms Asmussen it will review the incident, but has previously indicated it is unlikely to adopt a reduced speed limit in that area because guidelines do not allow it to speed-zone sections of road in isolation.

Main Roads also believes a reduction in speed limit would not change driver behaviour without a constant police presence in the area.

A spokeswoman for Geraldton police has warned drivers against overtaking on double white lines.

“Overtaking when not permitted could result in serious injury, or worse, a fatal crash as a likely consequence,” she said.

“Drivers committing these offences could be charged with serious driving offences.”

Ms Asmussen has been campaigning for a lower speed limit there since 2014 and said she has witnessed around 10 near-misses in that spot.

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