Warnbro Sound Avenue: Traffic safety concerns after young pedestrian hit

Concerned locals Natalia Barrett, Tina Tuira, Paul Waldron, Haami Barrett, Jake Moanaroa and Tony Gale with MLA Paul Papalia.
Concerned locals Natalia Barrett, Tina Tuira, Paul Waldron, Haami Barrett, Jake Moanaroa and Tony Gale with MLA Paul Papalia.

THERE are calls for the installation of traffic safety measures on Warnbro Sound Avenue after a student was hit by a car while crossing the road last week.

Warnbro Community High School student Natalia Barrett crossed the road from the school at a pedestrian access point on the footpath, about 100m from Grand Ocean Drive, when she was hit.

Luckily, Natalia only suffered a black eye and bruising to her head, but has no recollection of the incident.

Warnbro MLA Paul Papalia said the spot where Natalia was hit was set up like a crossing, but with Grand Ocean Drive close and Halliburton Avenue also nearby, students’ safety was compromised when crossing there.

“There’s a gap in the fence that leads down and it is set up like a crossing so students often use it to cross to the shops because it’s the shortest path,” Mr Papalia said.

“The lights (at Halliburton Avenue) don’t solve the issue because it doesn’t take account of Grand Ocean Boulevard, which is a very dangerous corner.”

Mr Papalia wrote to the Transport, Police and Education Ministers about the school, which is the only one located on or near Warnbro Sound Avenue and Read Street that doesn’t have crossing guards to stop traffic and escort students safely. Each minister responded that it was incumbent upon the school to request a crossing guard with the Children’s Crossing Unit at WA Police.

The nearest crossing guards to Warnbro Community High School are near Axminster Street, almost 1.5km away.

Tina Tuira, whose children attend the school, said she wanted to see a place set up for children to cross safely.

“It’s a main road so it really needs a crossing, someone to stop traffic for the children because it’s not safe for them to navigate between the cars,” she said.

Natalia’s father, Haami Barrett, said that whatever went ahead he hoped students and drivers would pay closer attention after his daughter’s accident.