I was recently involved in a car accident. It wasn’t my fault. We were travelling downhill on a narrow dirt road.
A larger car came in the opposite direction around a blind corner. It was travelling faster than should be considered safe on such a road and was also wide out, in the centre of the road. Being unable to slow down or get the car back to his side quickly enough, our car was hit which resulted in substantial damage, rendering it immobile. The other driver’s reaction was to jump out of his vehicle cursing us as the “cause of the accident.” After he simmered down and realised the damage to our vehicle, he offered to take my husband to the top of the hill, this was so he could get phone service to call for assistance.
This left me with our damaged car completely blocking one side of the road on a blind corner. My task was to try and prevent a further accident. The first traffic to pass was about six motorbikes. They appeared to be a family group, and after checking that I was okay, they offered to call the police to advise of the accident and dangerous conditions resulting.
Next came several cars, many of which were travelling too fast and wide for the road. Had I not managed to slow them down, they would almost certainly have come to grief. Next came a solo motorbike, who turned back out of the valley to call the NRMA for me. He soon returned with some cool water (most appreciated) and the news that although we were, and had been for more than 50 years, members of the NRMA, they would not be attending this accident. By now, the traffic was increasing, mostly travelling uphill, and soon a young fellow in a four wheel drive pulled up. He was the son of the man who had hit our car. Eventually, my husband returned, he had asked our son to arrange a tow truck. It never came.
The problem, you had to organise it through your insurer, and my husband couldn’t remember who ours was. After some hours passed, I convinced him to go back up the hill and ring to ascertain the problem. The bloke who hit us had come back to make sure we were okay. Soon everyone left, leaving me to hold the fort again. After some time, a big four wheeler appeared, and out popped our son and some friends, who together, managed to move the car into a safer position along the road. After this, the hubby went home to work out our Melbourne based insurer’s details to get the car towed, and I went to the police station to file a report. The police weren’t interested. I was told that unless someone dies or is seriously injured, they can’t even file a report. They said the road we had our accident on saw little traffic anyway.
From what we heard from locals, accidents occur frequently on this road. Council recently upgraded some parts of the road, and the locals said that this has led to more traffic and more accidents, but because of the how the system works, more people will be killed or seriously injured before something is done about it. We had a near miss with a garbage truck on the same road, seven months earlier. Same problem, driving too fast up the middle of the road, like a bat out of hell. I believe that prevention is better than a cure. The police should have come out when told of the dangerous situation. A few words in the ear of those gung-ho ratbags who don’t use common sense on such roads might stave off a tragedy. The road in question, Cedar Creek Rd, Yarramalong, into the Watagan Forest.
Letter, Apr 12 Clara Jones, Murrays Run