Push for car safety at Barrington a sign of the times

Great result: Ellis Girrard (pictured) and Vicki Sneddon successfully lobbied for slow down signs to be installed at Barrington. Photo: Rob Douglas.
Great result: Ellis Girrard (pictured) and Vicki Sneddon successfully lobbied for slow down signs to be installed at Barrington. Photo: Rob Douglas.

There's no excuses for speeding in Barrington, particularly with the installation of new 'slow down' signs either side of the town.

The community can thank Ellis Girrard, known around the traps as 'Rattlesnake Willie', and Vicki Sneddon who successfully lobbied for the signs at the entrance to the town.

After a move to Barrington last December, Ellis noticed many vehicles were failing to stick to the 50 kilometres per hour speed limit on entry into Barrington.

With the 'You're in a 50 km/h zone. Slow Down' sign at Gloucester in mind, Ellis questioned why Barrington didn't have the same treatment.

"I just wanted something that tell drivers 'hey, you need to slow down'," Ellis said. "We've got a 100 km/h zone that drops down to 50 km/h so with lots of people driving through town I thought we needed it."

His first action was to tie a handmade sign to the back of his car outside of his house. Ellis took a photo of the sign and put it on Facebook to remind local drivers to slow down. This was met by a strong, positive response. Through the post he met Vicki, who had the same concerns about speeding.

"We met up, had a chat and thought that we should do something," Ellis said.

The duo preceded to email and call several agencies, such as the Roads and Traffic Authority and MidCoast Council, to see if a sign could be installed.

"We didn't hear anything for a while so we weren't sure if it was going to happen," Ellis explained.

Soon after, Ellis received a call from MidCoast Council's road safety officer Chris Dimarco, who said the request would be looked into. At one stage, Ellis noticed an increased presence of police on the main road and a car counter near where one of the signs would be later installed.

"I knew things were happening," Ellis said.

After two months of waiting, Ellis was thrilled to receive word two signs had been erected.

"My wife noticed them first and told me," Ellis said.

He said if you believe in something that will bring positive change to your community, do it.

"If you don't speak up about something, it probably won't happen for you so this is a real feather in my cap," he said. "It's also a credit to Vicki who got the ball rolling."