COLAC’S leading traffic policeman says tourist traffic continues to create problems on the Great Ocean Road.
Tourists have been involved in two crashes on the Great Ocean Road and on roads connected to the road in the past week.
Apollo Bay police attended a crash at Tanybryn, north of Apollo Bay, where Chinese tourists escaped a head-on collision without injury.
One of the tourists was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road.
An air ambulance took a male motorcyclist to Melbourne after a car travelling on the wrong side of the Great Ocean Road near Apollo Bay crashed into him on Wednesday.
Sergeant Shane Howard of Colac Highway Patrol said the Ocean Road was the “worst road” in the Colac district for traffic-related incidents.
“In this area it’s our worst road and that’s partly because it’s the second busiest road besides the Princes Highway,” he said.
“And the usage has increased over the years to the point where even during winter, while it does slow down, it still has steady traffic on it.”
Sgt Howard said international and Australian tourists had been involved in traffic problems on the road.
“When you talk tourists, we’re not just talking about international tourists, there’s people from interstate and from other areas who use the road,” he said.
“It is a scenic road where people want to take in the views and that creates the issue of distraction.
“A large factor for the international tourists is the fact that the vehicles they’re driving, many of them, they’re switching from left-hand drive to right-hand drive,” Sgt Howard said.
“And driving on the right instead of the left creates an issue in itself.”
Sgt Howard said authorities had installed safety signs and reduced speed limits on the road to improve safety.
“When I started it was 100 all the way along but now the majority of it is 80; there’s only a couple of 100 zones left now,” he said.
“A lot of work has been done to improve the condition of the road. It’s not something that’s been left by the wayside, a lot of work has been done and that work will continue.”
Colac Highway Patrol and officers from stations along the Great Ocean Road co-ordiante traffic patrols.
Sgt Howard said the police presence on the road was greater than ever before.
“A large amount of our focus is on the Great Ocean Road and that’s more so now than it ever has been,” he said.