The Monaro Highway at Hume, where a young motorist was rear-ended and killed by a drug and drink-affected driver in March this year, has been rated as Canberra's worst crash hotspot.
The annual crash index by insurer AAMI analysed more than 360,000 motor insurance claims across Australia from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, to reveal the top 10 crash hotspots in each capital city.
Canberra Avenue was logged as the worst crash location in the ACT last year. It and the Monaro have been consistently in the two worst crash locations for multiple years.
Lachlan Seary, a 19-year-old rising star for the Canberra Brave ice hockey team, suffered a massive brain injury when his Corolla was rear-ended at high speed by unemployed Gilmore man Peter James Loeschnauer, 29, who had been drinking and taking drugs, and had borrowed his father's Honda Civic to drive into the city.
Loeschnauer has pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable driving causing death and will face the ACT Supreme Court next year.
The traffic lights on the Monaro Highway at Hume were also the location of one of Canberra's most horrific road crashes on July 28, 2018.
A landscape supplies truck driven by Akis Livas, who had a slew of driving offences against him and diagnosed with a sleep apneoa condition, ploughed into the back of a stationary family Ford Territory.
The car had been stationary at the traffic lights for 16 seconds before the truck struck it from behind. The force of the impact killed four-year-old Blake Corney, who had been in the back seat of the Ford.
The events were so traumatic that the police officers at the scene had to be reassigned to different roles in the force. Photographs of Blake's body taken by the forensic team and used as evidence have been sealed by the courts to prevent further trauma.
The head of ACT road policing, detective Inspector Donna Hofmeier, described it as the worst crash scene she had ever seen.
The Monaro Highway, the arterial which links the Snowy Mountains with the Federal Highway and is used by thousands of Tuggeranong residents every day, has been rated Canberra's worst blackspot in three of the past four years.
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Nose-to-tail collisions were the most common type of crash on the Monaro Highway (29 per cent), Monday and Thursdays were the most common days (each 18 per cent), and afternoons between 1pm to 4.30pm, and evening peak hours (4.30-8pm), were the most common times for crashes (each 25 per cent).
Identifying the crash dangers posed by the highway's traffic volumes, the shared heavy vehicle and light vehicle traffic load, and the multiple speed changes along the highway, the ACT and Federal governments have combined to develop a new flyover at the Lanyon Drive intersection to eliminate the traffic signals.
The highway is also going to be realigned, and the Isabella Drive roundabout eliminated.
Another of the critical danger locations, the traffic lights where Sheppard St intersects with the Monaro Highway midway along the main dual lane carriageway adjacent to Hume, will be taken out and replaced by slip lanes which only allow southbound traffic to enter and exit the highway.
No traffic will be able to turn right and northbound at Sheppard St onto the highway. Instead, traffic from that street will be channelled south to the Tralee St intersection, where vehicles can then turn north.
Sheppard St is the exit point for many heavy vehicles leaving the Hume industrial complex and the effectiveness of the new traffic strategy will be monitored to see if further improvements are needed.
Five new entries joined the ranks - Gundaroo Drive at Gungahlin (ranked third), Belconnen Way at Belconnen (fourth), Anthony Rolfe Avenue at Gungahlin (fifth), Monaro Highway at Fyshwick (tied at sixth) and Gungahlin Drive at Gungahlin (tied at seventh).
Canberra's top 10 hotspots:
- Monaro Highway (Hume)
- Canberra Avenue (Fyshwick)
- Gundaroo Drive (Gungahlin)
- Belconnen Way (Belconnen)
- Anthony Rolfe Avenue (Gungahlin)
- Monaro Highway (Fyshwick)
- Newcastle Street (Fyshwick)
- Gungahlin Drive (Gungahlin)
- Canberra Avenue (Griffith)
- Drakeford Drive (Kambah)
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