With grey nomads heading north in numbers and Outback roads about to feel the weight of thousands of travellers’ vehicles, visitors are being urged to do the right thing when out on the dirt.
Up in WA’s Kimberley region, crews recently finished two weeks’ worth of road repairs and grading, including maintenance works on the Cape Leveque Road, in time for the tourist season.
Each year the shire grades the unsealed road and repairs any damage caused by wet season rain and heavy traffic.
However, the ABC reports that significant damage is always caused by people ignoring weight restrictions and driving on roads when they are supposed to be closed.
The Shire of Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley is warning motorists to respect road closure and weight restrictions.
Director of engineering services Michael Dale told the ABC that if a road was closed, it was closed for a reason.
“If they’re travelling on a closed road, we’ve closed the road because the conditions were unsuitable for vehicles to be on that road and they’re endangering themselves because there’s the potential that they’re going to become bogged or get into difficulty,” he said. “So we close the road for people’s safety and also the road suffers … a great deal by vehicles using it when it’s very wet.”
Mr Dale said these vehicles cause roads to become corrugated, and at the end of the wet season there are huge or depressions in the road that means the shire has to mobilise grader crews or road crews to fill in those depressions and make it trafficable again.
People who ignore road closure signs could face fines of up to $5,000.
* Have you ever ignored a road closed sign? Have you ever been tempted to? Comment below.