A woman who was hit by a car at a dangerous Southern Cross intersection when she was heavily pregnant wants more to be done to make it safer.
The speed limit along Southern Cross Road was recently lowered to 80kmh around the Tower Hill Road crossroads near the Illowa Hall after a fatal accident earlier this year.
But locals are concerned the lowered speed limit doesn't make the intersection safer because Tower Hill Road is still 100kmh and traffic doesn't always come to a complete stop like it should.
They want it made safer whether that be Tower Hill Road fitted with flashing lights, a lower speed limit, rumble strips or other traffic slowing measures.
Nicole Sawyer, who lives at Southern Cross, was on her way to a maternity appointment at Warrnambool Base Hospital when a vehicle came through the intersection and slammed into the back of her car.
The accident happened on August 15, 2022 when Nicole was 32 weeks' pregnant with her second child, son Thomas.
Everything happened so quickly, she said, and the impact spun her car around sending her careening into a fence.
"It completely spun me around. It was terrifying," she said.
Amazingly, Nicole said, she wasn't injured. "I don't know how," she said. "I was going 100kmh down this road and I was heavily pregnant.
"It was awful," she said.
The damage to the back of her car, and a broken fence post on the side of the road, is a reminder every time she drives past how close she came to being seriously injured.
"If I was hit any further up the side of the car it would have been a lot worse," Nicole said.
"I was lucky it turned me around not upside down."
Nicole said there was nothing she could do to avoid the accident except to brace for the impact.
In shock, Nicole rang the hospital and told them what happened and was able to make her appointment for a check-up later that day. "I was so disorientated," she said.
The other driver was left shaken but not injured, she said.
Nicole and her partner Justin Jervies said while the speed limit on Southern Cross Road had been reduced to 80kmh, it was the side road that crossed over it that needed to be lowered.
"The issue is the cross road with people not stopping. People just don't stop," Justin said.
He said nobody could understand why the speed limit was dropped on Southern Cross Road and not the cross road which was still 100kmh.
Nicole said while warning signs had now been erected on Southern Cross Road, there were none on Tower Hill Road.
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said she had raised the issue with the Transport Minister Melissa Horne.
"It feels like they've got it back to front," she said. "It doesn't make sense."
Ms Britnell said flashing lights, rumble strips or some other kind of safety treatment was needed for the side road.
A Moyne Shire Council spokesman said it was conducting a safety audit on Tower Hill Road.
The spokesman said that while Tower Hill Road was a council-managed road, the immediate intersection with Southern Cross Road was under the control of the Department of Transport and Planning.
"After every fatality on a road, Victoria Police conduct a review of road safety and make recommendations - council has not received the report or advice on any proposed recommendations in relation to this intersection," he said.
"We will await the expert scientific assessment of that report before taking next steps with our road management partners.
"Separately, council is completing its own road safety audit on Tower Hill Road and other roads across the shire to assist with future blackspot funding applications.
"We encourage people to report bad driver behaviour to Victoria Police."
IN OTHER NEWS
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.