Road rage at pensioner’s death

Marie Fritz, who has asked the authorities for 35 years to make Acanthus Road safer, pictured with a hub cap, which she says regularly come loose from cars as they speed around a traffic island near her house. Picture: David Baylis d418157
Marie Fritz, who has asked the authorities for 35 years to make Acanthus Road safer, pictured with a hub cap, which she says regularly come loose from cars as they speed around a traffic island near her house. Picture: David Baylis d418157

Marie Fritz has lived on Acanthus Road in Willetton for the past 44 years and for 35 of those years, she has been campaigning to make the road outside her front door safer.

It is the same road where 86-year-old Antonius Willemsen was hit by a car while crossing it on his gopher just metres from his home about 11.40am Thursday week.

Mr Willemsen was rushed to Fremantle Hospital with serious injuries. He was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital but later died.

Mrs Fritz said Acanthus Road was a disaster waiting to happen and the road had suicide corners.

‘We want something that will bring back to a little bit of common courtesy and common sense,’ Mrs Fritz said. ‘We just can’t run the risk of killing people and dogs.’

The mother of one said the volume and speed of traffic during the morning ‘rat race’ was a concern, especially with Rossmoyne and Willetton senior high schools and Willetton Primary School nearby.

According to Main Roads’ statistics, in the past five years to the end of 2013, there were 18 reported crashes along Acanthus Road ” seven required medical attention, eight involved major property damage and three involved minor property damage.

Mrs Fritz said she had notified Main Roads and the City of Canning about her safety concerns, but said despite some efforts, nothing had worked.

‘About 20 year ago, after a big scream, they came and put in a couple of roundabouts, but it’s made no difference,’ Mrs Fritz said. ‘Drivers are going so fast they’re bouncing off the roundabout and hitting the curve near our property.’

Acanthus Road resident Keith Barrett also agrees that something needs to be done to improve safety.

He said there used to be a residential area 50km/h speed limit sign at the Karel Avenue entry to Acanthus Road. This seemed to have worked, but has been removed.

‘Drivers turning into Acanthus Road have been travelling on Leach Highway or Karel Avenue at 70km/h and do not appear to recognise that they are now driving in a 50km/h residential street,’ Mr Barrett said.

‘Our request is that speed advisory signs be installed showing the 50kh/m speed limit, then the drivers’ speed, then slow down or well done, depending on the speed.’

Mr Willemsen’s death is still being investigated.