The NSW government will provide more than $500,000 in funding to curb further crashes on the Dipper, the infamous and dangerous spot on the Central Coast that took teenager Jackson Williams’ life a year ago.
Jackson Williams, 17, was one of four passengers in a car driven by a new P-plater that crashed into a pole after travelling too fast over a culvert known as “The Dipper” on Willoughby Road, Wamberal.
His mother Michelle Williams said she hoped the traffic-calming devices set to be placed at each entrance to the “dip” would ensure safer travelling speeds over the culvert.
“Knowing that action to reduce the risk of a similar crash occurring has given us some solace,” she said.
The culvert, known as The Dipper, was renowned to generations of young and old drivers because the steepness of the dip gave a sensation of flying.
On Monday, the Federal Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks and NSW MP Adam Crouch will announce $505,000 funding from NSW Government’s Safer Roads program.
It will pay for a range of initiatives to slow traffic and stop drivers from getting a sensation in their stomachs due to the steepness of the dip. These include raised reflective pavement markers, rumble strips along the edge line, a new “stop” sign and traffic calming on the approach to dips, and the sealing of the local road.
The move follows a Change.org petition started by Lindy Hewett, a woman who lived near the crash that had been the site of other fatalities and near misses over the years, and lobbying by Ms Wicks at federal and state level.
In July, The Sun-Herald detailed the impact of the crash on the Williams’ family and others. The Sun-Herald’s editorial has called for new rules to reduce the number of new P platers dying in crashes, including tougher rules to stop groups of teenagers from riding in cars driven by new P platers at all times of day.
The driver – who had his Ps for just over two weeks – was convicted of dangerous driving occasioning death. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, and his licence was suspended for three years.
He can’t be identified because he was a minor at the time of the crash.
Mrs Wicks said Jackson’s death had “caused immense sadness across the Central Coast community” and led to a resolve that to fix this stretch of road,
The investment was an example of both state and federal governments working together to protect the future of our communities.
“This financial year the NSW Community Road Safety Fund is estimated to save the equivalent of 419 deaths and serious injuries over the life of the projects.”
In collaboration with Central Coast Council, all work except for traffic calming is set to be completed this financial year (2017/18). Traffic calming is expected to be completed by the end of next year, with the total investment $505,000.
Ms Williams said her family was thankful to Lindy Hewitt and Lucy Wicks.