Mr John McGrath, Member for South Perth, is concerned that a WA Police direction to Main Roads WA on “No U turn” signs will affect road safety at the busy intersection of Mill Point Road and Labouchere Road.
Mr McGrath raised his concerns in State Parliament last week when it was indicated to him that a “No U turn” sign at the intersection might soon be removed.
He said Main Roads WA had recently been instructed by WA Police to remove “No U turn” signs from traffic signals as it is an illegal manoeuvre and all motorists should be aware of this. By installing those signs at some locations (ie corner Mill Point Road and Labouchere Road) it undermined the police’s powers at others.
Mr McGrath disagreed, saying it would be unwise to remove “No u turn” signs from traffic signals at dangerous intersections.
“I’m not sure that the Road Traffic Act is as well understood by motorists as it should be,” Mr McGrath said. “For that reason I don’t think it hurts to have “No U turn” signs at certain intersections.
Mr McGrath told Parliament he had campaigned hard to have the “No U turn” sign installed at the intersection in South Perth and would be disappointed if it were to be removed.
He said the City of South Perth had actually asked for the sign to be placed on the pole holding the traffic lights. “I agree with the City that the sign should be closer to the lights,” he said.
Mr McGrath said the intersection had been a problem area for some time, with motorists making U turns at the lights when they realised they had come off the Kwinana Freeway at the wrong point.
This put them at risk from vehicles heading north in Labouchere Road and turning left at the lights and proceeding onto the freeway.
The current provisions under the Road Traffic Act do not permit U-turns at traffic lights unless there is a “U turn permitted” sign at the intersection.
However Mr McGrath feels that although this is the law, many people are unaware of the regulation or do not realise the consequences of making a u-turn in such locations.
“I feel that more signage alerting motorists as to the disallowance of u-turns at traffic lights is needed and would help to keep our roads safer, particularly at busy intersections where such problems occur,” he said.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Mr Bill Marmion MLA, confirmed to Parliament the intentions of Main Roads to remove “No U turn” signs and indicated that along with the removal of these signs, Main Roads would undertake to raise motorists’ awareness about the rules pertaining to u-turns.
However, Mr Marmion agreed with Mr McGrath that it was an issue that needed further consideration and may require the Commissioner of Main Roads and the Commissioner of Police to get together to work out whether there was another solution to the problem.