Couple’s hoon terror ordeal

Couple’s hoon terror ordeal

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Kelmscott residents Melien and Michael de Rhoter hold serious concerns about the traffic travelling along Westfield Road. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

For one Kelmscott couple, the simple act of crossing the road is a very dangerous task. 

Michael de Rhoter and his wife Melien have lived on Westfield Road in Kelmscott for close to eight years and they regularly cross the road both by foot and in a wheelchair. 

Mr de Rhoter said he had witnessed many accidents, hooning and anti-social behaviour during their time living along the busy suburban street. 

“A few years ago one person died when stepping out of the bus and got hit by a car and not too long ago during a police chase one car crashed into the power pole,” he said. 

“Nearly every day motorbike hoons make this road very unsafe by travelling at high speed without helmets and sometimes on one wheel.” 

Mr de Rhoter said the road was changed a few years ago to include traffic islands in the middle to deter motorists from crossing over the lines. However, he said this has not altered many driver’s behaviour. 

“We have reported this behaviour many times to the police and have also reported the unsafe situation to Armadale council but their response was not very cooperative,” he said. 

“We are not alone because there are many other people living in the units opposite the shopping centre and they are mostly in wheelchairs.” 

City of Armadale acting chief executive Jason Lyon said the latest count data indicated that while a small percentage of drivers exceed the posted speed limit, most drivers are law abiding and adhere to the speed requirements on this road. 

“On this basis, there is no plan to install any traffic calming devices,” he said.

“Dangerous driving behaviour can occur at anytime, anywhere and pedestrians are encouraged to always cross roads at appropriate and safe locations.

“The city will continue to monitor traffic volumes and speeds and changes can be proposed as conditions dictate.” 

Armadale Police Senior Sergeant Troy Douglas said they had received calls relating to hoon driving in and around Westfield Road, however, there had been no obvious increase in these reports recently. 

“Unlawful road use or activities can be reported to Crime Stoppers,” he said.