Driver slams into traffic pole as resident pushes for safety

Brendan Rees

A Southbank traffic hot spot which recently saw two crashes in 48 hours including a car that careered into a traffic light pole has sparked a renewed push for safety.

In the latest incident, a car bowled over a traffic pole at the corner of Kavanagh and Power streets at around 8am on December 5, however, no one was injured.

Police said the driver of the vehicle involved in the “minor” single crash had left the scene and no one was seriously injured, however the circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated.

Two days earlier, in a separate incident at around 1.30pm, two cars collided at the same intersection. Ambulance Victoria said it was called to the scene at around 2.15pm but their services were not required.

According to a witness and local road advocate campaigner Jannine Pattison, one car had appeared to be turning right into Kavanagh St from Power St after exiting the freeway when the crash happened.

The incidents come after Ms Pattison recently voiced her concern about safety at the intersection, saying it was just a matter of time before a tragedy occurred – which was published in the November edition of Southbank News.

She said it was her goal to get the Roads and Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll “down to the intersection in person to observe the dangers” before there was a fatality.

The Department of Transport has previously told Southbank News it had “no plans to make any changes to the intersection at this time”, but would “continuously explore ways to make our roads safer, working alongside road safety partners like councils and Victoria Police”.

According to data from the department, eight crashes have been recorded at the site in the five years to December 30, 2020, two of which resulted in serious injuries. None of those crashes involved pedestrians and cyclists.

Ms Pattison said she had tallied seven collisions – with photos as evidence – at the intersection since October 2021 which she described as “simply unacceptable”.

She has also launched an online petition to improve road safety at the intersection which has garnered 238 signatures at the time of writing •

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