Pedestrian safety upgrade for Caringbah intersection where Danielle McGrath lost her life

Pedestrian safety is to be upgraded at the Caringbah intersection where Danielle McGrath was killed while crossing with a green walk signal two years ago.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) says it expects traffic light changes, providing a red arrow for the three left-turns, will be implemented early next year, 

However, RMS has rejected a Sutherland Shire Council recommendation to extend the walk time for pedestrians on the crossing of the Kingsway where the fatality occurred.

Ms McGrath, 26, of Caringbah, died on her way to work on November 8, 2016, crossing from the southern to the northern side of Kingsway.

She was struck by an earthmoving  truck towing a trailer, which was turning right from Port Hacking Road.

David William Edward Grice, a truck driver of more than 20 years, was sentenced to at least 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

Local business owners campaigned after the accident for a complete upgrade of pedestrian safety at the intersection.

Dangerous incidents continue to occur regularly.

The mother of two young children told the Leader, a fortnight ago, she was harassed by two motorists as she pushed a double pram across Kingsway.

The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said a driver turning left from Mackay Street, cut in front of her double pram while she was walking on a green light.

“At the same time, another car turned right from Port Hacking Road and stopped just before it reached me,” she said. “The driver was shaking his head at me.”

The mother called the council, but was told it was an RMS matter.

In 2017, the council’s Consultative Traffic Forum rejected a proposal by Cronulla MP Mark Speakman and some residents to ban the right-turn into Kingsway.

The committee recommended, instead, extending the crossing time for pedestrians and introducing red arrows on left turns at the intersection.

A spokesman for RMS said traffic light phasing, line marking and traffic volumes at the intersection had been reviewed.

Changes to traffic lights, including a red arrow for left turns from Kingsway, Port Hacking Road and Mackay Street were expected to be implemented early next year, he said.

The spokesman said these changes would remove the need for extra walk time across Kingsway.

However, RMS “would be pleased to engage in further discussions with council about this intersection”, he said.

A council spokeswoman said RMS was the governing body regarding decisions about the intersection.

“RMS has advised council that installing red arrows, which would provide protection for pedestrians from vehicles turning left into and out of Mackay Street and left from Kingsway into Port Hacking Road South, is under consideration for inclusion in their works programs,” she said.

“RMS has also advised that it will not be implementing a recommendation from council’s Consultative Traffic Forum to extend the time on the red arrow for vehicles turning right from Port Hacking Road South into the Kingsway.”