A big thanks to Adelaide Plains Council for some new signage that went up at Thompson Beach in time for the holiday week.
“Care for our wildlife” signs have been placed on either side of The Esplanade, just after where Ruskin Road meets The Esplanade.
One of the attractions of Thompson Beach is our wildlife, a benefit of being situated in the midst of a national park.
Shorebirds tend to steal the limelight, but there are plenty of other animals that call the area home. Among them; native water hens, kangaroos, dragons, sleepy lizards and goannas – all protected species – can often be seen on the roads, so caution is required.
Also installed prior to Xmas were pedestrian warning signs near the beach access track at the northern end of Kestrel Crescent.
Now it’s just a matter of getting folks to take notice of signage and slow down. Drivers ignoring the 40km/h speed limit throughout Thompson Beach is unfortunately still very common.
Why A 40kmh Speed Limit In Thompson Beach?
The 40km/h speed limit not a suggestion, recommendation or request – it’s a directive backed by law.
There are very good reasons the speed limit is lower than in some other residential areas – and it’s not just about protecting wildlife.
One is the main road running north to south, The Esplanade, is a dirt road. Running off The Esplanade at multiple points are pedestrian access tracks to the beach. Most of these tracks have dense vegetation growing either side practically to the edge of the road. This can obscure the presence of people using the track (particularly children) from drivers.
It takes a greater distance to safely come to a stop on a dirt road compared to a sealed road. If a child should dart out from a track onto the road – and this does happen – it will be more difficult for a driver to pull up in time if speeding.
To bring an average sedan to a stop that is travelling at 40km/h on a sealed road will take a distance of 26m (this includes reaction distance). At 50km/h it’s 35m and at 60km/h it’s 45m – and even greater distances at each speed level on an unsealed road. The chances of a pedestrian surviving if hit by a car at 32km/h is 95%, at 48km/h it’s 60% and at 64km/h it’s just 20%.
The few seconds a driver might save getting to their destination in Thompson Beach by speeding simply isn’t worth the risk. The consequences can be life-changing for all involved, and in a very tragic way.