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Black ice rink claims three victims

HAZARD: Three cars ran off the road after they fell victim to black ice on O’Connell Road near Oberon on Thursday morning, prompt warnings by concerned locals about the hazard. Photos: ROGER ARROW 070915blackice1-3RESIDENTS are being urged to slow down and focus on their surroundings following three accidents involving black ice on the road between Bathurst and Oberon on Thursday morning.
Nanjing Night Net

As winter temperatures plunge below zero degrees black ice is appearing on the region’s roads.

Roger Arrow, owner of Arrow’s Newsagency in Oberon, said all three accidents occurred approximately five kilometres west of Oberon at an area known locally as Sheps Hill.

“It is a pretty notorious spot,” he said.

“I was talking to one of the drivers and he said it was just a skating rink – no control at all.”

Mr Arrow can recall many accidents in the same spot over the years, many involving Bathurst residents driving to Oberon for work.

He hopes Thursday’s accidents will make people aware of the dangers of black ice.

“There is not much you can do when it comes to that kind of stuff,” he said

“I’m afraid someone is going to be killed there.”

Bathurst road safety advocate Matthew Irvine said these incidents are a timely reminder of the dangers of black ice, but it all comes down to driving to the conditions and being aware of dangerous spots.

“It is really unfortunate those couple of cars went off, but you’ve got to remember hundreds of cars make it through there daily that are driving safely,” he said.

Mr Irvine said black ice was prevalent in areas that remain shaded for long periods of time following cold temperatures.

“There are places all around the region that don’t see sunlight at all during the day,” he said.

Areas around Meadow Flat and Yetholme have been identified by Mr Irvine as areas prone to black ice.

“The areas in the region that are prone to black ice are known by people who have years of driving experience, and there has been a lot of investment in putting up signs that warn people about ice,” Mr Irvine said.

“There is really no excuse for people not to be aware of where it is.”

Mr Irvine advises people who get caught up in black ice to ease off with their steering and braking to avoid making the situation worse.

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