'It's not a race track': Grieving dad's message to drivers
A STRETCH of road notorious for hooning that claimed a teenage girl's life has been left off an RACQ list of the Sunshine Coast's worst roads.
But the father of the girl has defended the road she died on, saying it's the people who drive on it not the road itself.
Woombye's Mark Dixson lost his 17-year-old daughter Jade in a crash on Dulong Road, Dulong on March 27.
The RACQ's list, which is based on safety, congestion and future needs, includes the Bruce Highway, Eumundi-Noosa Road, Sunshine Motorway and Steve Irwin Way.
The top 10 worst Sunshine Coast roads
- Bruce Highway upgrade to six lanes between Pine Rivers and Caloundra Road, and deliver Maroochydore Road to Mons Road projects
- Sunshine Motorway capacity and safety upgrades (Bruce Hwy to Mooloolaba, and northern sections)
- Steve Irwin Way - Safety and capacity upgrades
- Caloundra Road / Nicklin Way intersection upgrade
- Kawana Way - Duplicate to 4 lanes and intersection upgrades
- Maroochydore Road - Pike Street and Jones Road intersection upgrades
- Nambour-Bli Bli Road, safety upgrades including Camp Flat Road intersection upgrade
- Eumundi-Noosa Road, safety upgrade
- Cooroy-Noosa Road, safety upgrade including Beckmans Rd intersection upgrade
- Plan, preserve and construct roads suitable to accommodate future population growth from the Caloundra South Development (Bell Creek Arterial (and others)).
Mr Dixson said there were other roads that needed more attention than Dulong Road.
The Dixson family hold no blame towards the 17-year-old driver but have been campaigning for tougher licence testing.
"I've driven it plenty of times and so long as you drive to the condition it is fine," Mr Dixson said seven months after the crash.
"There are plenty of other roads which are a lot worse than Dulong's condition.
"The speed limit is set for a reason and it is signed well. But it's a road, not a race track."
He has visited the site of the crash and spoken to residents, some of which said it's a popular place for "young hoons".
Jade's death has also prompted members of the Dulong Neighbourhood Watch to express their concerns over the road.
In a letter to the Daily earlier this year, Dulong resident Col Deller said the road is abused by a portion of its users.
"For several years the residents have been lobbying council to enact traffic calming along this road," Mr Deller wrote.
"However, despite numerous meetings, the residents efforts have fallen short.
"It leaves residents vulnerable to hooning and poor driver behaviour in an area deemed to have a 'quiet rural country atmosphere'."
Clayton's Towing owner Mike Clayton echoed Mr Dixson's comments about the onus on the driver to adhere to the conditions of the road.
The family-business owner said drivers must drive accordingly and not blame the imperfect conditions.
He did however say the Bruce Highway is understandably the worst section of road for the towing industry.
"Between here and Caboolture it is continuously a problem, it is a dreaded location for us," Mr Clayton said.
"That road affects everything, one crash brings the Coast to a halt.
"For us it can be a nightmare to load vehicles from, the banks are very steep and sometimes we have no space."
RACQ's Lucinda Ross said an improved transport network to cope with the population demand would go along way to helping road issues.
"The Sunshine Coast is a huge growth area in our State and with the increasing numbers moving to the region, residents need a transport network to get around in the future," she said.
"Not only do we need to see governments invest in these roads, we also need to see money put into new public transport projects.
"The proposed Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication would not only improve public transport for locals and provide opportunities to connect spur lines to and from the coast, it'll make it commuting to Moreton Bay and Brisbane faster and more accessible."