A SECTION of the Great Ocean Road near Princetown has been labelled a death trap by a local policeman.
The officer, who asked not to be named, said four people aged in their 40s on Harley-Davidson motorcycles were lucky to be alive after another accident on Thursday on a section of the road which claimed the lives of two Indian tourists on Christmas Day last year.
“This could easily have been another fatality,” the policeman said.
He said VicRoads was made aware of the situation after another accident in August when a motorcyclist suffered a broken collarbone and ankle, but he claimed nothing had been done to rectify the situation.
VicRoads regional director William Tieppo yesterday said VicRoads was aware of concerns about the section of road and was investigating possible improvement works.
A proposal for asphalt resheeting of the road had been developed. “These works are of high priority amongst south-western region’s pavement restoration proposals for 2012-13,” Mr Tieppo said.
He said there were cautionary signs in place alerting motorists to the rough surface.
Thursday’s accident happened about seven kilometres east of Princetown on the Great Ocean Road at 11.15am after rain. The three motorcyclists were travelling from Melbourne to Robe in South Australia.
“There are concaves in the carriageway and when it rains, water just sits in them,” the policeman said.
“The three motorcyclists were travelling about 50 metres apart. The first motorcycle, with a rider and female pillion passenger, hit the water and aquaplaned for 65 metres. The rear tyre went out to the right and the rider tried to the get back in shape for another 57 metres before he hit a patch of newer road work.
“The rider and the passenger high-sided over the bike and slid. The rider travelling behind them veered to the right-hand side to try and avoid them and in doing so he slid off as well.”
The officer said the second rider’s Harley-Davidson continued riderless for another 180m before it veered off to the left, hit a culvert and flew across grass in front of a dairy.
“The last rider veered right to avoid the second rider. He then had to go left, taking more evasive action and only missed the second rider by inches but was able to stay upright,” he said.
“Local farmers along that stretch say motorcyclists come off all the time. If there had been oncoming traffic on Thursday there would have been a multiple fatality.”
The pillion passenger was taken to Timboon hospital with minor injuries.