Motorists speed on tourist road

Apollo Bay police officer Leading Senior Constable Andrew Orchard says speeding motorists are common on the Great Ocean Road despite the safety risks.

Apollo Bay police officer Leading Senior Constable Andrew Orchard says speeding motorists are common on the Great Ocean Road despite the safety risks.

POLICE have caught two drivers travelling 38 kilometres an hour over the speed limit on the Great Ocean Road within 20 minutes of each other.

Leading Senior Constable Andrew Orchard said the two offenders both reached speeds of 98 kilometres an hour in a 60-kilometre zone at Skenes Creek on Wednesday.

“At 1.50pm on Wednesday we caught a 34-year-old UK tourist in a hire car doing 98 kilometres an hour in a 60 zone on his way to the Twelve Apostles,” Sen Const Orchard said.

“The driver told me he was running late for a helicopter ride and then said he thought the speed limit was 80, but that means he was still going 18 kilometres too fast.

“Then at 2.20pm a male p-plater from Melbourne and his girlfriend were heading towards the Twelve Apostles and he went to pass a slower vehicle and was caught doing 98 kilometres an hour in the same spot at Skenes Creek.

“He said he thought it was an 80 zone too even though there’s plenty of signs but he was still 18 kilometres over,” he said.

“They’ve both got a $554 fine, lost six demerit points and will lose their licences for six months, effective in 28 days.”

But Sen Const Orchard said speeding drivers on the popular tourist road were common despite the risks to themselves, their passengers, other motorists and pedestrians.

“Skenes Creek is a real hotspot for us, whether it’s because it’s a straight stretch and it’s one of the better sections to overtake,” he said.

“But Apollo Bay is only five minutes down the road and they are down to 50 kilometres an hour, and if they’re not adhering to speed limits it could be a real problem for pedestrians and other drivers when they hit Apollo Bay.

“And the problem is these people do crash; so we try to pull them over and slow the traffic down.”

He said “the majority” of serious speeding offenders were international visitors and Apollo Bay police and Colac’s Traffic Management Unit regularly enforced speed limits on the Great Ocean Road to prevent accidents.

“We see it all the time with tourists; from my experience they get in their car and head to the Great Ocean Road and they are not fully prepared and sometimes they’re running out of light.

“They’re flying along the road to the Twelve Apostles and there seems to be a genuine lack of comprehension of distance, time and road conditions.”

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