During this month’s council meeting, the city authorised the chief executive to investigate safety improvements for Vahland Avenue following two horrific car accidents within the past year.
City of Canning councillors’ Amanda Spencer-Teo and Ben Kunze submitted a notice of motion to put it to the chief executive to engage Main Roads WA to request a review of Vahland Avenue to identify potential improvements to alleviate safety concerns, including a review of the speed limit and potential infrastructure modifications.
The motion was carried unanimously.
Councillor Amanda Spencer-Teo said any loss of life was a tragedy and that the time to act was now.
“However, once a stretch of road within the City of Canning claims five lives within 12 years, two within the last 12 months something is seriously wrong,” she said.
“This road is getting busier, with vehicle and pedestrian traffic which is only going to increase the odds of further tragedies if we don’t act now.
“It could be several months before we know the cause of the latest fatality, it could have been speed, it could have been fatigue or a number of other factors, but doing nothing has not worked.
“We understand this is a sensitive issue, but the time to act is now to ensure no further lives are lost.”
The two car accidents recorded within the last 12 months, resulted in the loss of 18-year-old Joel Burton, a local basketball star who lost control of his Nissan Patrol and slammed into a tree on Riverton’s Vahland Avenue on June 28.
And on August 18, a 24-year-old Rivervale man was rushed to Fiona Stanley after crashing into a tree near Tribute Street.
Councillor Ben Kunze said that fives lives lost within the last 12 years were far too many. “I don’t want to speculate as to what may or may not happen to this stretch of road to improve it or speculate as to what the causes of each accident were,” he said.
“I think every time we discuss the accidents along the stretch of road or improvements it opens fresh wounds for the families that are continuously grieving.
“I can’t imagine what they go through.
“But the number of car accidents recorded shows to me, that something needs to change, it is very important that we conduct a very close review with Mains Road WA.”
The decision also aligns with last week’s successful installation of a 40-kilometre speed sign around Orana Catholic Primary School in Querrin Avenue and Vahland Avenue.
It is understood that the school had previously expressed its concerns and requested a child crossing and 40-kilometre school zone signage.
In addition, there are two other primary schools in close proximity to Vahland Avenue, including the Queen of Apostles School, the Riverton Primary School, and a child care centre that will open right on the corner of Corinthian Road and Vahland Avenue.
Vahland Avenue’s current speed limit is 70-kilometres an hour, while Willeri Drive, which is just a kilometre away with zero school access, is zoned at 60-kilometres an hour and directly links Roe Highway.