Sunday, 23 December 2012

Call to reduce speed on the Maclean to Brooms Head Road

Residents of Brooms Head say, "Enough is enough" in a letter to the editor of The Daily Examiner.

Road kill appalling

Plenty of well-meaning people work hard to address the impact of Brooms Head Road traffic on our wildlife. National Parks keep count of emu numbers; WIRES repairs victims; some attach tracking devices; and, occasionally, The Daily Examiner reminds us how warm and fuzzy are emu chicks. But none of this reduces the appalling road kill.

Eighteen months ago my wife and I concluded a series of letters to The Daily Examiner and The Coastal Views  about the level of the road kill on the 20km stretch between Brooms Head and Maclean, but the killing continues.

I recently presented photos of wildlife killings on that road to The Daily Examiner: roos, wallabies, wallaroos, possums, echidnas, various reptiles and a wide variety of birds. The reporter wasn't interested except to wonder why I cared.

I said that if I were hit, it would hurt me as much as if I were an emu or goanna. I asked if, in the scheme of things, an emu has a less-important right to seek a pain-free life than I do; that while I use its natural land, should deadly confrontation be inevitable; that while I possibly think quicker than the emu, does it give me a greater right to destroy it - or am I ethically obliged to care for the less able? Should my code of behaviour be based on the levels of difference between the surrounding wildlife and me and, if so, how should it be expressed caringly or non-caringly?

If conflict between "unequal" species is okay, what about between members of our species? Should we excuse killing one another on roads. If not, why not?

While it seemed my reporter preferred to pursue the warm and fuzzy approach, bosses/authorities who don't make decisions can have devastating effect. Reducing this 20km trip to mostly 80km/h all the way certainly increases the time by three minutes but allows that bit extra for sharper navigation and avoidance on a road where highway speed (and often more) simply invites collision. The administrative inaction shows poor duty of care. It's a little similar to the carelessness surrounding that thoughtless message recently allowed through to nurse Saldanah in London.

Brooms Head

Source: Letters, The Daily Examiner, 21/12/12

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