By Bonny Burrows
Near-miss accidents and surveillance cameras haven’t deterred hoon driving along Berwick’s Old Coach Road, according to a fed up resident who is considering moving for some peace and quiet.
Michelle Lavigne and her family moved into their “beautiful” Old Coach Road home seven years ago, but quickly realised it wasn’t the peaceful lifestyle they had hoped for.
Instead, their evenings are interrupted by the sound of revving cars and commotion from hoon gatherings at the top of the steep street.
Despite the installation of private, resident-owned security cameras and high rise fences, Ms Lavigne said Old Coach Road residents didn’t feel safe in their own homes.
And an incident on 9 July where a driver allegedly failed to apply breaks and crashed into her side fence was the final straw for Ms Lavigne and her family, which includes two young girls who “are quite nervous” that a car may come through the house.
“We’ve been here seven years and for the whole seven years we’ve had to put up with it. I’ve had enough, I’m ready to go,” Ms Lavigne said.
“The burnouts start at the bottom of Harkaway Road and then they fly all the way up (Old Coach Road) and all the way down.”
The family has contacted police and council numerous times, but has been told not much could be done due to the steepness of the road.
Police also didn’t attend the latest accident as no one was injured, Ms Lavigne said.
But she said she didn’t want to have to wait for a death to occur for action to be taken.
“Residents have had enough; I’m not the only one who’s complained, but we can’t stop them, they keep coming back,” Ms Lavigne said.
“And I really don’t think they care (about the dangers).”
The City of Casey admitted it was aware of resident concerns regarding hoon behaviour along Old Coach Road, Berwick.
Its manager of city design and construction, Trevor Griffin, said unfortunately this sort of behaviour was happening right across the municipality, “irrespective of a street having physical traffic treatments or otherwise”.
“Traffic management devices often don’t deter drivers who choose to undertake this type of behaviour deliberately,” Mr Griffin said.
He said considering the road geometry and significant vertical grade of the road, Old Coach Road was not suited to the installation of speed humps.
“Anti-social behaviour and hooning activity should be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Victoria Police,” Mr Griffin said.
“When reporting, a high level of detail improves the ability of enforcement agencies to identify hot spots and vehicles.”