Obscured road signs are dangerous

[Letters to the editor] I have recently driven numerous NSW roads and believe that hidden or obscured road direction signs, speed signs, locality signs and safety signs are causing many road accidents and deaths.

My observation is that at least 50 per cent of signs on main roads are hidden behind overgrown trees, bushes, other road signs that have been erected in front of them, or other obstacles. Drivers who don’t know the region need maximum warning that turnoffs are coming up, as it is often dangerous if they can only clearly see and understand the last sign to a turnoff, right at the exit point. The result is hard braking, danger, and a possible accident or death. Many large main road signs were erected some years ago and maintenance and tree pruning have not been done.

In many cases, new roads or upgrades have been completed, and new trees planted where they would obviously obscure signs behind them within a few years. Regulations probably specify that all signs need to be a certain distance apart, or a distance before an actual turnoff. I believe they are installed with no practical reference as to how well they can be seen for a long period of time by the driver. A driver who has maximum notice of upcoming turnoffs, dangers, speed signs etc. is a much safer driver. I believe Roads and Maritime Services have a plan to check that all speed signs are correctly located. I hope they extend this audit to view and assess locations and maximum visibility of all road signs. Motorists would appreciate local councils also checking all signs for visibility and safety. Let’s watch to see if action is taken.

Email, Mar 31 Graham Black, Wyoming

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