Why fed-up locals were forced to put up road signs in Chinese

Victorians in the state’s southwest have taken an unusual approach to accidents in the area by erecting signs in Chinese.

Apollo Bay resident Sally Cannon has put up four signs in Chinese on the southwest coast including two at the intersection of Colac-Lorne Road and Deepdene Road, Murroon and two at Apollo Bay near the Great Ocean Road.

“It’s a notorious intersection and I had a friend recently whose nephew got cleaned up,” she told Yahoo7.

“We always get a lot of visitors in the region and the signs needed to be in Chinese.

A resident near Victoria’s Great Ocean Road has erected signs in Chinese to warn tourists about certain intersections. Left: the intersection of Colac-Lorne Road and Deepdene Road, Murroon and (right) another in Apollo Bay. Source: Supplied

“I’ve told people you’ve got everything but a brass band playing to tell you to stop at that intersection. It’s been the scene of so many accidents.”

Ms Cannon said she got in touch with a friend who speaks Chinese and organised a sign maker to create them. A number of them warn drivers to stop while another tells them to give way.

She added the signs are as much for tourist’s safety as it is for locals.

Member for Polwarth MP Richard Riordan told Yahoo7 lots of people have been visiting the region recently.

“Lots of people come to Melbourne, use a hire car and drive here and throughout the Great Ocean Road region,” Mr Riordan said.

“If you’ve visited South East Asia there’s a different mentality towards driving and about 25 per cent of the accidents in the area are from foreign drivers.”

VicRoads have replaced the intersection sign while another stands in Apollo Bay. Source: Supplied

However, he added “the growing rate of Chinese and Indian tourists into the Great Ocean Road region has been a boon for tourism”.

VicRoads has since replaced the two signs in Murroon with electronic ones. The other two in Apollo Bay are still standing.

Regional Roads Victoria south west director Mark Koliba told Yahoo7 in a statement it’s a “busy time of year” for the region.

“We want everyone – locals and visitors alike – to travel safely through the region and take extra care on the network,” Mr Kolida said.

“This week we’ve installed two new electronic signs displaying safety messages in Mandarin on the Colac-Lorne Road and Deepdene Road approaches to the intersection near Birregurra, as well as a new digital multilingual message board on Princetown Road providing safety messages to visitors heading back from the 12 Apostles.”

He added “hundreds” of directional arrows telling drivers to stay on the left have also already been rolled out across Great Ocean Road and “busy inlands routes that lead to it”.

It’s also illegal for members of the public to erect, display or place on a road, anything that purports to be a traffic control device.

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