Resident believes confusion is making Canning Hwy and Rome Rd intersection dangerous


The intersection of Canning Highway and Rome Road.
The intersection of Canning Highway and Rome Road.

FREMANTLE resident Jean Tait believes confusion over the road rules governing a busy section of Canning Highway makes the intersection dangerous for motorists.

Ms Tait regularly uses the slip lane at the intersection of Canning Highway eastbound and Rome Road to legally execute a U-turn on to Canning Highway westbound, heading back towards Fremantle.

The danger arises from motorists turning west on to Canning Highway from Rome Road, with confusion over who has right of way.

The latest publicly available crash statistics reveal there were 16 crashes at the intersection in the three years to the end of 2015.

MORE: Light Industry Program set up to check contaminants running into Swan and Canning rivers

Of those, four required medical attention, five resulted in major property damage and seven resulted in minor property damage.

“I use this section of Canning Highway three times a week and always believed that the stop sign at the end of Rome Road means exactly what it says,” Ms Tait said.

“Recently I’ve witnessed three near misses and on one occasion I was in the process of turning westward when I was nearly swiped by a driver coming out of Rome Road, also turning west, apparently without stopping or looking to see what other road users were doing.

“I was angry and so I approached Main Roads WA for a ruling, where I was given two different opinions, one agreeing with me and the other stating that as I was effectively doing a U-turn I had to give way.”

Ms Tait was then directed to Traffic Police WA for a final ruling.

“I spoke with a very pleasant gentleman who went away to consult with his colleagues,” she said.

“After about an hour, he came back to say that they all agreed it was confusing but that at the moment the U-turn rule must apply, although they would be discussing and considering that particular intersection further.”

Mains Roads WA has since confirmed to the Melville Times that drivers performing a U-turn must give way to all other traffic movements, including motorists trying to enter the flow of traffic from behind a stop sign.

Ms Tait finished with a final warning for road users.

“At that intersection I have had drivers give way to me and get impatient if I have not gone immediately, I have been charged by irate drivers who consider I have taken their right of way, and I have managed to turn safely and speedily with the co-operation of other road users,” she said.

“Remember, do not always think road signs actually mean what they say.”