Toowoomba Road Policing Unit officers Acting Senior Sergeant Brendan Harding (left) and Senior Constable Darren Payne check the speed of motorists on Ballin Dr.
Toowoomba Road Policing Unit officers Acting Senior Sergeant Brendan Harding (left) and Senior Constable Darren Payne check the speed of motorists on Ballin Dr. Kevin Farmer

Suburban speedway: Residents call for calm

RESIDENTS, council and police are divided over how to stop drivers using a Centenary Heights street as a suburban raceway.

Toowoomba Regional Council's traffic monitoring last month clocked drivers doing up to 114kmh in Ballin Dr, a street which is restricted to 50kmh.

The monitoring was conducted for a week in response to residents' speeding complaints.

Equipment set up at each end of Ballin Dr captured the number of vehicles and the speeds they were doing when passing checkpoints.

Some residents have called for traffic calming measures such as speed bumps to be installed. They have the support of police.

However, council is adamant the measures were not warranted.

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Ballin Dr resident Chantal Wolf was in favour of adding physical barriers to speeding motorists.

She lives in the street with her husband and their two young children.

"We never ever let the girls outside by themselves because we have no fence," Mrs Wolf said.

Mrs Wolf said her family could recognise the sound of repeat offenders.

"When he (motorbike rider) goes past we can't hear anything else, even the television.

"It is unnerving because every time they go past I'm waiting for the screeching tyres as they lose control."

Mrs Wolf acknowledged police were monitoring the area, but thought more needed to be done.

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Is enough done to stop speeding motorists in Toowoomba?

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"The only option would be traffic calmers and just hope they respect them."

It contrasted the opinion of another Ballin Dr resident.

"I don't see it as a problem," the woman said.

She was against the idea of installing traffic calming measures.

"I don't like them."

A fellow Ballin Dr resident, who did not want to be named, said she had been in contact with council throughout the year.

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She was disappointed to get a letter from council earlier this month stating the speed distribution of vehicles on Ballin Dr was acceptable for the 50kmh speed limit.

"When I read that letter I thought 'that contradicts what I notice every day of the week'," she said.

She then requested the data used by council.

The figures gave an hourly breakdown of maximum and minimum speeds recorded over seven days.

Hourly maximums ranged between 55.1kmh and 114.7kmh while hourly minimums ranged between 13.5kmh and 44.5kmh.

"This has been going on for years," the resident said.

"I'm just fearful about a child getting hit and killed."

Toowoomba Road Police Unit officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Brad Clark supported the idea of installing traffic calming measures.

His colleague, Acting Senior Sergeant Brendan Harding, said police had received complaints about speeding on Ballin Dr for a number of years.

Act. Snr Sgt Harding said officers had caught speeding motorists this year, but none to the extent detected by council's equipment.

He said educating people to obey speed limits was important.

"We will continue enforcement there until complaints reduce and the number of detections reduces," Act. Snr Sgt Harding said.

Traffic calming not warranted: Council

TOOWOOMBA Regional Council believes driver education and traffic enforcement are the most effective measures in the push to slow speeding motorists.

Councillor Carol Taylor said council would not be installing traffic calming measures along Ballin Dr in Centenary Heights.

She said surveys showed the number of speeding vehicles on Ballin Dr had reduced considerably over the past decade, after the introduction of 50kmh local street speed limits in early 2003.'

"When police hooning powers were introduced around a decade ago, council resolved that it would not retrofit any more traffic calming measures in existing residential streets," Cr Taylor said.

"New developments, however, have conditions imposed to provide street layouts which support the 50kmh local street speed limit in residential areas.

"Installing one-off traffic measures, such as speed humps, is not an effective method of regulating traffic speed."

Cr Taylor said traffic calming devices could create noise issues and access problems for nearby residents.

"On occasions, they have attracted more hooning as they represent a challenge for some irresponsible drivers.

"Whether the speed limit is 50kmh or 60kmh, a small number of excessively speeding vehicles commonly is recorded on most streets."

Cr Taylor said control of hooning and speeding vehicles was best handled by police.

"Council's regional road safety officer is involved in numerous campaigns, such as Fatality Free Friday, to promote safe driving behaviour.

"Should bad driving behaviour continue to be an ongoing issue, council will work with the police and residents to consider future traffic measures."

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