IN 2019, a car was severely damaged in a two-car crash near a sunflower field on the New England Highway.
IN 2019, a car was severely damaged in a two-car crash near a sunflower field on the New England Highway.

Push to slow speed limit to stop sunflower ‘mayhem’

SOUTHERN Downs sunflowers are a sight to see, but residents are worried the spectacle may be coming at the cost of road safety with near misses already abundant across the region.

This week, readers like Jeanne Pollard vented their frustrations on social media, after eager-eyed tourists narrowly avoid crashes at picturesque hot spots.

"Only yesterday this idiot pulled into Diggles Road then decided to reverse and my partner was turning into there and nearly got wiped out," she said.

One Allora resident who knows the "chaos and mayhem" of sunflower season is Davina Nelson.

Just last year, she was heading towards Toowoomba when visitor carelessness almost took her off the road.

"I was driving up past Eight Mile and there were cars half on and off the road," she said.

"People were running across with their children and one woman almost dropped her child in front of a B-double.

"I had to slam my brakes on to avoid them."

Allora police last year urged visitors to "realise what consequences their actions may have."

Ms Nelson said she was left wondering what could be done to fix the problem, with many drivers hesitant to actually pull into a highway ditch and off the road.

"It's the people parking on the opposite side of the road and running across the section," she said.

"There's a little dirt road before the Eight Mile you can park in safely but it's not enough given where people's heads are at," she said.

"Visitors are not in the city where you're going at very low speeds. This is a 100 zone area"

Her solution was to possibly reduce the speed of the area to curb a lack of "common sense."

"It would just be in that spot there and only a couple of extra seconds, but saying that, how needed is a road change for visitors?" she said.

"Flowers are beautiful and all, but they're not worth the risk."

Got a solution to sunflower road safety? Have your say at tessa.flemming@news.com.au


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