Redland City acts on Coroner’s findings

Redland City Council will review the speed limits on Russell Island roads and look at improving lighting along its major traffic routes.

It follows acceptance at today’s Council meeting of the Coroner’s recommendations following the inquest into the death of 14-year-old Ethan Stephenson on the Southern Moreton Bay island in 2014.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council was committed to doing everything in its power to improve safety on local roads.

“This was a terrible tragedy and it is incumbent on all authorities involved – Council, the Transport and Main Road departments and the police – to look at what can be done better,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Council has ordered a review of speed limits on the island, as well as an assessment of street lighting and shared pathways along the major traffic routes.

“The Coroner also made recommendations in relation to the enforcement of driving rules and road regulations and I wrote to the Premier in August asking the State to act on the Coroner’s recommendations.

“Of particular note is the Coroner’s recommendation for the State Government to introduce a public bus service to the island utilising the TransLink Go-Card system and I have asked the Premier to consider extending this to all Redlands islands.

“The Coroner also asks the State Government to increase police presence and facilities on Russell Island and for the Department of Transport and Main Roads to work with Council and local schools on a safety campaign to promote safe road use by children.

“Again I have asked that this be extended to all our islands and advised that Council stands ready to work with the state on these initiatives.”

Local Councillor Mark Edwards (Division 5) said the Coroner’s report, which was delivered in July, found Council’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety on Russell Island were adequate.

“But recommendations were made in regard to speed limits and lighting which Council is acting on,’’ Cr Edwards said.

“We have instructed our speed management committee to review limits on all Russell Island roads and look at whether the speed limit on sealed roads should be reduced to 50km/h,’’ Cr Edwards said.

“The island’s roads have a 50km/h limit, unless otherwise signed.”

“Council will also work with Russell Island residents to determine whether priority should be given to increasing street lighting on the Island, while we will also assess whether the shared pathway system should be extended to Sandy Beach.

“We want the results by next June so we can fund and implement an action plan for the island.”