|i3 consultants WA|
(Traffic and Transport News Blog)
These articles are made available by the author for educational purposes only as well as to provide general information and a general understanding regarding published requirements and obligations. These articles should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice.
If you answered "the bloody big tree in the middle of the road" you win. Unfortunately the local council does not agree with you. It thinks the gravel verge on the left, with a footpath through it, is such a big hazard that it has issued a letter to the resident telling them to remove it within 28 days or they will do it for them and send them the bill. For the record, the assessed roadside hazards and severity indices for vehicle impacts at 50 km/h are shown below.
Not only does the tree have a severity index 34 times greater than the gravel verge, it is more likely to be struck as it is in the centre of the road and close to the traveled path in both directions. It is also on the outside of a bend, further increasing the likelihood of being struck.
The Australian Transport Council has reported that the chances of surviving (yes, surviving) a crash decrease markedly above 30 to 40 km/h for a vehicle striking a tree and defines any tree with a diameter greater than 100 mm diameter as a hazard. This tree is a significant roadside hazard but for some reason, the local council has determined that it can stay. The insignificant roadside hazard, the gravel verge, has to go within 28 days.
In the words of Charles Wade "It's so senseless that it's unbelievable".
David Wilkins, Principal & Senior Traffic Engineer.