By Bev Jordan
Two fatal accidents on Cattai Ridge Road, Glenorie a year apart have intensified a campaign to have the road’s 80km/h speed limit reduced.
Geoff Benfield, a Board member at Glenorie RSL and founder of Glenorie Hockey Club died when his motorbike crashed into a stationary truck on Cattai Ridge Rd just before 7.30am on September 26 this year.
On September 17 last year, Arndell Anglican College science teacher Karen Mitchell, lost her life after her car was involved in a head on crash in Cattai Ridge Road on her way home from school.
Mechanic Mark Leal who runs his business on Cattai Ridge Rd has started a petition to get the speed lowered.
“Cattai Ridge Road is becoming a major thoroughfare as more development occurs in Box Hill and Pitt Town,” Mr Leal said. “The existing speed limit of 80km/h is too fast for the condition of the road, and more measures are needed to ensure the safety of all road users and residents.
“Something has to be done before another serious accident occurs,” he said.
Hills Shire Mayor, Dr Michelle Byrne said that council had contacted the roads department after both fatalities, asking for a review of the speed limit on the rural road.
“In 2019, this Council made representations to the then Roads and Maritime Services (now Transport for NSW) requesting a review of the speed limit,” Mayor Byrne said. “At the time, the RMS responded that they had conducted a review in accordance with the Speed Zoning Guidelines and had determined that the existing speed limit of 80km/h was considered appropriate. They also said they would continue to monitor the situation.
“We’ve now had a further fatal accident on Cattai Ridge Road, which is incredibly sad for everyone involved. While the causes of these accidents are still under investigation, I am hopeful that Transport for NSW will review the speed limit and make the necessary safety changes.
“We are a growing region, which means more and more people are moving into our area and also using our local roads.”
Her plea is backed by State Member for Hawkesbury Robyn Preston who is keen to hear from locals who live and/or travel on Cattai Ridge Road. “I want to hear what they recommend,” Ms Preston said.
“Clearly the fatalities cannot be ignored, but we have to find appropriate solutions that make it a safer stretch of road,” she added.