It’s a sad state of affairs when residents are afraid of taking a few steps out their front door, into their own street.
But that’s the reality for a handful of Aberglasslyn and Rutherford residents who fear the frequency of speeding drivers has become so dangerous that there is an accident waiting to happen in their neighbourhood.
The 50km/h speed zone in Denton Park Drive and McKeachies Drive, which stretches from the New England Highway to the McKeachie’s Run residential estate, has become a rat run for speeding drivers.
Residents have spoken out after a near miss where a driver allegedly crossed to the wrong side of the road, at speed, and narrowly avoided a woman and her daughter who were travelling in a vehicle in the opposite direction.
The close call has prompted vigorous discussion on social media this week, with many condemning the ongoing speeding problem.
They are calling for a solution.
Fairfax Media reported today that some residents, like Kat Lewis, refuse to let their children play in the front yard or ride their bikes down the street for fear that a wayward car will drag their family into a tragedy.
“My kids want to ride their bikes to their school which is just around the corner but there’s now way I’ll let them,” she said.
“I have to leave before 8.30am to get them to school to avoid the traffic.
“The flow of traffic coming through Aberglasslyn has grown and I think it’s a lot of drivers trying to avoid the busy highway at that time of day.
“It’s the same when school finishes, then again at five in the afternoon.”
Fairfax Media also understands that Central Hunter police keep a close eye on Denton Park Drive and conduct regular patrols in the area because of reports of speeding.
The message is simple – and it’s not a new one: Speeding kills. If drivers are frequently flouting the speed limit by 30km/h or more, then it stands to reason that sooner or later someone is likely get hurt or lose their life.
The idea that residents in a suburb can become hostages in their homes at certain times of day because of the careless, irresponsible and – frankly – stupid behaviour of some drivers who choose to do the wrong thing is unacceptable.
These residents, like in any community, deserve to feel safe in their own neighbourhood.