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Byron Shire
June 24, 2021

Bruns bridge road safety

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Linda Hibbard, Brunswick Heads

It is dangerous when people (mainly children) race head on into traffic on the wooden Brunswick Heads road bridge after jumping off the bridge.

I raised this issue last year with Byron Council but I was never contacted by them and nothing has been done.

On January 14, at approximately 4.10pm while I was driving over the bridge, a child of about six raced up from the edge of the river and straight in front of my car. It was so close I heard a woman scream!

Whether I approve or disapprove of people jumping off the road bridge is not the issue – it’s about public safety – and saving the conscience of someone like me who could have been innocently caught up in a tragic accident or worse – killed a child.

As I got off the phone to Council a police van came by and I reported what had happened, stressing that something needed to be done. The officer said ‘police need to liaise with Council before someone is killed’ and I couldn’t agree more.

When is the question? Hopefully, it doesn’t take a death to instigate the necessary action.

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  1. Hey, That is a great letter Linda.
    You should write more letters and you will be noticed more.
    It is illegal to jump off bridges all over Australia.
    That is the issue as it is dangerous for boats travelling under the bridge as they may hit a child jumping off the bridge, then the boat driver would sue the child’s parents for boat damages.
    Nothing is done until someone dies or is sued.

  2. perhaps the question needs to be asked “why do people drive so fast’. Maybe we could even close the bridge road to traffic and make that whole area a walking and bike zone. I am personally tired of the people in cars fighting for parking spaces, beeping horns and carrying on like they have a right of way for everything. Huge congrats to my neighbour for today’s flags on the bridge and the vast amount of people jumping off in celebration, and the common sense drivers who slow down to acknowledge some people in life still like to have fun…

    • You are quite correct Corey – we are very inconsistent in the speeds we allow cars to travel in Australia. In Europe 30kph is becoming the normal urban limit with slower speeds in residential and other areas which have kids playing and walking. We allow peopl to drive at 50 and 60kph, slowing them only around schools and some cbd areas to a still dangerous 40kph. Yet in the places motorists leave and walk form their cars like petrol station shopping mall car parks they drive at 10 – 20 kph and would be angry if someone drove past at 40 – 50kph. We need ot reclaim our streets for people as has been done in Europe so any one form 8 ot 88 can walk or cycle to where they need to go in safety.

      In Sydney they spend $ 188 a year on roads; in Copenhagen half that. They have achieved that because Denmark has focused on making streets convenient and safe for people, not just convenient for cars, by spending between $10 and $30 on good people focused walking and cycling infrastructure, and controlling the speed and use of cars. Shifting car use to walking, cycling and public transport use has also of course also brought benifits to health, city planning and amenity, reduction of pollution and carbon output, personal safety, transport equity and social life. It is time governments allowed council to control the use of cars so humans can move and play in our towns safely.


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