The crash at Pooh Corner

johnboy 9 March 2009 49

The ABC brings word that two Canberra women (48 and 24 years old) have died descending Clyde Mountain.

Apparently the area was shrouded in rain and fog at the time.

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49 Responses to The crash at Pooh Corner
benneh benneh 9:18 am 13 Mar 09

This is a real shame these people died. Let’s just hope on the positive side, some awareness comes out of this, on how to properly drive in these kinds of conditions.

I think the crux of the issue, is that there is no mandatory requirement in getting your license to be taught how to drive in these kinds of conditions.

The number of times I have been driving on the clyde or brown, and you can smell someones breaks… you just know they have no idea how to properly use their gears to slow themselves down and are just riding their breaks. It’s an accident waiting to happen, even if the breaks don’t fail completely, they are going to be all spongy and inneffective when overused like that, and someone is going to loose control.

peterh peterh 3:01 pm 11 Mar 09

at least the clyde is better than it was. In times past, you would have to call from the braidwood phone box to the steampacket hotel to check whether the road was clear, or if it was raining…. so my grandpa tells me.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:52 pm 11 Mar 09

caf said :

It’s quite possible to have a fatal accident at 60km/h closing speed.

The real live crash test (real driver – no dummies) at 30 mph and comparison of 3, 4 and 5 star wrecks on this week’s Top Gear was – to say the least – enlightening.

Emlyn Ward Emlyn Ward 2:48 pm 11 Mar 09

I remember when the Hume highway was “The Deadly Hume” – it was rubbish, just like the King’s Highway is now, with people dying on it all the time. In fact, I recall being in one accident where some old codger lost control on a (pretty moderate) bend and hit us head-on. Dunno what the “closing speed” was, but I’d guess it was at least 150km/h.
We took the brunt of it, but the traffic behind us ploughed into the wreckage, too.
The only real injuries were suffered by those people travelling behind us in horrible little pieces of jap-crap like Mazdas and Datsuns.

So – blame the drivers, blame the road, but don’t forget to also blame whoever has approved these horrible little unsafe asian-built cars for use on our roads.

caf caf 2:17 pm 11 Mar 09

It’s quite possible to have a fatal accident at 60km/h closing speed.

Emlyn Ward Emlyn Ward 2:15 pm 11 Mar 09

I don’t understand how an accident at Pooh Corner could be lethal – surely nobody’s travelling any more than about 30km/h around there?

I have to say – Macquarie Pass is much hairier than the Clyde, although with far less Canberra drivers on it, it’s usually less nerve-wracking.
I went down it 2 weeks ago and sure enough, there was the obligatory P-plater overtaking me on a blind 25km/h bend. He then crossed the double-yellow again to overtake the guy in front of me and arrived at the next bend (another 25km/h one) on the wrong side of the road and found himself nose-to-nose with a driver coming in the opposite direction.
If I’d had a gun on me, I’d have liked to have shot the #$@%, for all our sakes.

I-filed I-filed 1:52 pm 11 Mar 09

Was that the author and philosopher Genevieve Lloyd? Probably not, based on the age given in media reports …

PsydFX PsydFX 1:27 pm 11 Mar 09

I wonder if a simple ad campaign would help reduce accidents on the Clyde by illustrating the point that VY made earlier – that drivers need to learn how to moderate their speed through gearing rather than overuse of the brake pedal.

Gobbo Gobbo 11:58 am 11 Mar 09

Rest in peace Genevieve and Lauretta Lloyd.

Granny Granny 11:46 am 11 Mar 09

I’m with Sgt Bungers!

peterh peterh 11:15 am 11 Mar 09

Thumper said :

Speed cameras would fix it all. No doubt…

But seriously, concentrate and drive to the conditions. Simple as that.

thumper, they wouldn’t. the idiots slow for the camera, then speed up again. or jam on their brakes, creating an accident…

Thumper Thumper 10:37 am 11 Mar 09

Speed cameras would fix it all. No doubt…

But seriously, concentrate and drive to the conditions. Simple as that.

ant ant 10:10 am 11 Mar 09

It’s bizarre that people will try to do that road at speed. I like mountain roads, and in fact equalled the unofficial record for getting from Mt Beauty to Falls Creek a few years back, but I do the Clyde very slowly. It’s steep, there’s frequent bad curves (and the infamous Government Bend… too steep and too tight), and you get classic mountain weather there too. First time I drove it was on my Ps (except ACT drivers didn’t have p plates then) and I got brake fade!

People who come to grief on that road really need to explain themselves.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 10:00 am 11 Mar 09

Speed limits are the majority of the problem. Most Canberrans spend their time driving on wide, excellent roads with relatively low speed limits, thus get used to driving at the speed limit, all the time. Get to the Clyde’s twisties with a 70km/h limit, and that’s what too many people try to stick to, rain hail or shine. It only takes one moron not thinking about how fast they’re going to put your entire family in wheelchairs for the rest of their life.

Variable speed limits will cause more problems, as again it’s removing the need for people to think.

My solution… Get rid of speed limits all together. Impose a law stating that if you cause a crash which results in someone being injured, automatic 10 years in prison. Kill someone that’s 20. Kill a family of four that’s 80 years.

Watch how quickly people re-evaluate the value vs risks when it comes to the 5 minutes they save by driving somewhere quickly, vs driving somewhere sensibly. Suddenly you’ll get people thinking about the way they’re driving, rather than just adhearing to the “magic number” on some piddly signs.

peterh peterh 10:32 pm 10 Mar 09

My wife and I took the kids down to broulee for a holiday, only 2 weeks ago. I drive a camry altise, older model to the new body kit, v6, and an automatic, and i did the clyde in 2nd, for most of the way. I didn’t go above 40 at any stage of the sharp and tight corners, not because I couldn’t, but because my family was in the car, and it wasn’t my right to put them at risk. I also had my lights on, and made it down with very little stress. There were cars that overtook me in the slow lanes, but for most part, many drivers just slotted in behind me and we all drove down slowly.

It is the responsibility of the driver to recognise the road may be different to the last time they drove it. I don’t know what caused the accident being discussed today, but my condolences are with their Families.

bd84 bd84 9:22 pm 10 Mar 09

poptop said :

Speed-bump or speed camera? Guess where public opinion will lie with this choice.

A speed bump would make a good launching ramp! One of my family members has also come to grief going down the Clyde in the rain, of course going too fast for the conditions. I’d suggest a wet weather speed limit going down there, the same as there is on the F3 freeway going south into Sydney. Though then the morons driving would still pay not attention and would overtake on the double lines going around a corner as usual. Enforcement on the highway isn’t exactly great, despite the police’s claim to be highly visible.

poptop poptop 1:09 pm 10 Mar 09

Speed-bump or speed camera? Guess where public opinion will lie with this choice.

caf caf 1:03 pm 10 Mar 09

Well the speed limit is 90 on the western approach to the mountain, and drops to 70 before the crest, so perhaps better enforcement of that would do the trick Kramer.

Kramer Kramer 12:54 pm 10 Mar 09

I have seen heaps of crashes just at the top of the Clyde – I reckon it’s people (and I am guilty of this too), flying up to the crest at 100kph, and down into the descent and fog way too fast. Before they know it they’re into the wall or guard rail. Easy solution – one big speed hump right at the top of the Clyde.

youami youami 12:51 pm 10 Mar 09

ant said :

I fail to see why fog or whatever is some kind of excuse. It scares me to think I share the road with people who want ot find excuses. If you lose traction and your car goes deolally, it is YOUR fault. It’s always your fault. You f-cked up. You did.

Never a more true statement has been said! I agree, it is always someone’s fault. Unless you are the victim of circumstance where it is someone else’s fault and they crash into you, it is one’s inability to handle the road conditions or themselves that causes accidents. Fatigue = your fault for not sleeping, drink driving = your fault for driving under influence, crash into a tree or roll over from a bend = your fault for not driving to the conditions of the road.

Condolences to anyone affected by accidents, fatal or otherwise, but it is not the road or weather. If drivers are concerned about the road or weather they *can* and *should* slow down or even pull off to the side of the road and let the weather pass. It is not a race down the Mountain.

This leaves me to another point where the adage ‘speed kills’ is not correct. Hitting a tree at 100km/hour will probably cause injury or death but if the road is posted at 100 you are not speeding. Again it comes down to driving to the conditions of the road. I bet you could not do 50km/hour down Bunda St even though that is the posted limit.

A novel thought: Let’s take responsibility for our own actions!

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