Locals fear for their safety as dangerous driving in the shared zone on Raymond Street escalates, leaving many calling for action.

Rhonda Beam and her carer Jill Wood were crossing the road in the shared zone on Raymond Street outside the Commonwealth Bank on Wednesday, June 15, when a man in a dark-coloured BMW, travelling well above the 10-kilometre speed limit, almost didn’t stop.

Legally blind and reliant on a walker for mobility, Ms Beam began to cross the road behind Cr Wood, no more than a foot length away from one another.

“We were crossing the road from Commonwealth Bank, and Jill had started walking ahead a little bit and was saying for me to come,” Ms Beam explained.

“So I started to cross the road when Jill noticed the man driving a black BMW wasn’t going to stop.

“She started to yell, ‘stop, stop, stop’ and put her hand out.

“The man eventually stopped, rolled down his window and asked what the matter was.

“Jill said to the man, ‘you are supposed to stop’.”

The man in the car disagreed, pointing to the speed bumps in the shared zone on Raymond Street and telling the two women they were meant to use the crossing.

The Raymond Street shared zone. Photos: Zoe Askew

“Jill said no, you are supposed to stop,” Ms Beam said.

The man, still in disagreement, replied, again pointing to the speed bumps and telling the women that they are supposed to cross at the crossing.

“Jill was quite cross,” Ms Beam said.

“She told the man that we have the right of way. He yelled, ‘well go then’, and so we crossed the road.

“This is happening all the time.

“It isn’t the first time this has happened. You really have to be on your toes when crossing there. The cars just don’t stop.

“They seem to think they have the right of way, and they just don’t stop.

“And it is a 10-kilometre speed limit; you really should be crawling. But the speed that a lot of people are going through there is ridiculous.”

Jill Wood, a Wellington Shire Councillor, has had to grow tough-skinned in her 37 years with Victoria Police working in Criminal Investigation, Sexual Offence and Child Abuse.

Still, the incident on the afternoon of June 15 left Cr Wood upset and frustrated.

“I was really upset,” Cr Wood said.

“He had no idea that he was supposed to give way.”

Ms Beam is not alone in her concerns.

Rhonda Beam with a message for drivers to please be careful, slow down and give way to pedestrians. Photos: Zoe Askew

Staff from Wild Honey café, located near the shared zone on Raymond Street, report that speeding and failing to give way to pedestrians is a major concern.

“It is a really big problem at the moment,” Wild Honey employee Salem Norris said.

“People rarely give way. There have been so many times I’ve nearly been hit by cars walking across there. And people go so fast through there.”

Another Wild Honey employee said “literally no one gives way”.

The large glass front doors at Findlay & Weymouth Amcal Pharmacy, situated on the roadside of Raymond Street, provide staff with a direct line of sight to the shared zone.

Findlay & Weymouth employee Sue Wilson said she has witnessed several close calls as a consequence of drivers failing to give way.

“I have seen so many close encounters,” Ms Wilson said, tilting her head to look at the street.

“It is terrible, people go too fast and aren’t giving way and it’s only getting worse.

“Something needs to be done; I don’t know what, but it needs big flashing lights that say slow down, pedestrians, or to paint the entire area red, just something.”

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye, said this is a case of “bad driver behaviour”.

“Drivers need to slow down and give way to pedestrians through the shared zone to keep everyone safe,” Cr Bye said.

“Any incidents, whether they occur in the shared zone or other roads, need to be reported to local police so they know there is an issue and can investigate.

“We must remember that one incident does not mean all drivers are behaving badly, and if these incidents are happening more often, they need to be reported through the appropriate channels so action can be taken.”

According to Sale Police, there has not been an increase in reported incidents in the shared zone, despite the alarming number of incidents and concerns from the public.

“If there is an incident, people need to report it,” Constable Mark Horne said.

“Even if you don’t have the licence plate details, report it, and we can investigate.

“There are street safety cameras across Sale, particularly in the clocktower area, so if there is an incident in the area, we can easily access footage for more information.

“But the public really needs to be reporting these incidents.”

By reporting any incidents involving dangerous driver behaviour to Victoria Police, authorities can obtain an accurate understanding of an issue and implement measures to ensure public safety.

Without documentation, police have no cause to suspect a problem and thus have no need to act accordingly.

To make a report, you can do so online by heading to https://www.police.vic.gov.au/police-assistance-line-and-online-reporting, or you can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Alternatively, you can call or visit your local police.