Driver fears for children’s safety

Samantha Buenen has had two collisions with tourists on Wild Dog Creek Road, Apollo Bay, and fears for her children’s safety when she drives them to school.

AN Apollo Bay mother says she fears for her children’s safety every time she drives them to school.

Samantha Buenen said she was anxious after two accidents and “countless” near misses on the road outside her family home.

Mrs Buenen, who lives on Wild Dog Creek Road, said satellite navigation systems were leading tourists up the steep, rocky, windy road instead of the sealed Skenes Creek Road.

She said she believed it was only a matter of time before a head-on crash.

“My children are very anxious when I drive them to school,” she said.

“There’s going to be a serious crash one day. There’s already been a death.”

Mrs Buenen said she was driving her ten-year-old daughter home from Colac on Wild Dog Creek Road last week when a tourist’s car scraped her sedan.

She said the tourist was driving in the middle of the narrow road, on route to Melbourne, when the cars collided.

“I’m now afraid to drive down my driveway. I’m not sure who’s going to be around the corner. I’m driving like an old lady down the hill,” Mrs Buenen said.

“The number of tourists have increased all through the year,” she said.

Mrs Buenen, a licensed driver with 20 years’ experience, said she had another accident with a tourist only months before the recent prang.

“I’m having countless near misses with these people. There have been several collisions, I’ve been in two,” she said.

Mrs Buenen said the “hazardous” road was not built for a high traffic volume.

“Most of the road is unsealed and there are lots of hazards. It’s very winding, lots of blind corners, it’s very, very narrow in parts,” she said.

She said she contacted Colac Otway Shire Council to request a sign at the bottom of the road to warn people that it was not a main road.

“There’s no signage at the bottom warning them it’s not the best road to take,” she said.

She also contacted Google Maps and said she wanted GPS companies to fix the problem.

Colac police’s Leading Senior Constable George Hasiotis said police were worried about the prospect of a serious accident.

“Police are concerned that GPS units are causing unnecessary risk to residents and local users of roads that are not built for regular traffic or articulated vehicles,” he said.

“There needs to be more communication between Google Maps, GPS manufacturers and VicRoads.”

One Response to “Driver fears for children’s safety”

  1. Annette mcDonald

    I have driven on Wild Dog Road many times over the past 10 years and have always been conscious that athere could be a car on the wrong side of the road which I negotiate the many blind corners. I only use the road when visiting relatives. There have been no improvements in that time, I believe that there should be a sign at either end of the road stating Local Traffic Only.