Since 2010, there has been a series of serious incidents, resulting in four fatalities, that have occurred at the traffic light controlled intersection of South Eastern Freeway, Cross Road, Portrush Road, Glen Osmond Road involving out of control trucks travelling on the last seven kilometres on the downtrack of the South Eastern Freeway.
The last 7 kilometres of the downtrack of the South Eastern Freeway between the Mount Lofty Summit Road overpass at Crafers and the traffic light controlled intersection at the bottom of the freeway comprises a very steep and long downhill incline for traffic travelling towards Adelaide.
Australian Road Rule 108 applies to the 7km descent of the South Eastern Freeway. This is indicated by the Trucks and Buses must use low gear sign. The driver must drive the truck or bus in a gear that is low enough to limit the speed of the truck and bus without the use of the primary brake.
In 2014 the SE Freeway, between the Crafers and Mt Osmond interchanges, carried an average of nearly 46 000 vehicles per day, approximately 3 900 of which were classed as heavy vehicles. These traffic volumes have not varied significantly since 2011.
On 1 September 2014, the department implemented speed and lane restrictions for all vehicles between the Stirling Interchange and the Toll Gate on the South Eastern Freeway.
Changes effective from the 1 September 2014 are:
- all light vehicles are restricted to 90 km/h from Stirling Interchange; and
- all trucks and buses from the Crafers Interchange to the bottom of the Freeway are restricted to 60 km/h. See map.
In 2014-15, there were two Coronial Inquests held, with a third pending, into the fatalities involving the out of control trucks on the descent and at the intersection of the South Eastern Freeway. Click here to see the Latest News and Publications.