A January, 2010 fatal car accident on the Kings Highway west of Braidwood opposite the Braidwood showground. Photo: Marina Neil
Two-thirds of crashes on the Kings Highway occur on bends, making the windy sections between Clyde Mountain and the coast especially dangerous for Canberra drivers and motorcyclists this summer.
ACT and NSW police will launch a cross-border campaign on Tuesday to lower the number of the deaths and injuries along the highway, a notorious stretch of road which has seen an increase in drivers fined for speeding during the Christmas months in recent years.
The campaign launch will come just days after another Canberran - an 18-year-old motorcyclist - was killed when he was thrown from his bike on a bend near Nelligen on Saturday. The man was killed after coming off his bike at almost the same location where another motorbike rider died in 2010 in a collision with a car.
A month ago another motorcyclist died when the 60-year-old rider hit a concrete barrier in the Clyde Mountain area of the Kings Highway.
Latest ACT Policing figures comparing the past three years show a 10 per cent increase in the number of speeding offences recorded on the Kings Highway during the December to January periods, with drivers in their early 20s making up the worst category. Speeding offences by drivers aged 21 to 25 in December to January on the Kings Highway have increased by 69 per cent since 2010. The Kings Highway is the major thoroughfare linking Canberra to the south coast and hosts large volumes of traffic during summer, particularly on weekends.
ACT Policing station sergeant Rod Anderson said Canberra residents were often directly affected when there was a crash on the road.
Eleven per cent of Eurobodalla Shire ratepayers are ACT residents, according to Sergeant Anderson, while a safety review of the highway released this year found 29 per cent of drivers and riders involved in crashes on the highway were from the ACT.
Last December to January there were 364 speeding fines handed out, nine crashes and nine injuries caused by road smashes. ''We want a safe road so people can enjoy the south coast - we don't want to ruin anyone's holiday,'' Sergeant Anderson said. The joint operation between ACT and NSW police will involve ACT patrol cars across the border as well as territory police riding in patrol cars with their NSW counterparts - and vice-versa. Five people died in two crashes in March last year on the same 10-kilometre stretch of road east of Braidwood.
In recent weeks three curving warning signs have been installed on bends on the Clyde, alerting drivers and riders when they have exceeded the safe speed limit.
Eurobodalla Shire road safety officer Karen Sydenham said motorcyclists were making up more victims of road crashes due to their increasing numbers on the roads. She hoped work to straighten out bends between the Clyde and Nelligen and the new signs would make a difference this summer.