Barriers hold up: Police

Barriers hold up: Police

While the state’s road toll has increased from 74 at this time in 2018 to more than 110 this year, 72 which have been on regional roads, East Gippsland Highway Patrol officers say the safety barriers installed between Bairnsdale and Sale appear to be “doing their job” to prevent accidents and fatalities.

Centre line barriers and roadside safety barriers have been installed on the Princes Highway between the two townships in a bid to reduce road accidents, however have been subject to widespread condemnation.

The safety barrier project is being completed in conjunction with road widening works on the highway.

Acting Senior Sergeant, Trevor Barton, the adviser of road policy for the Eastern Region (division six), says the barriers are designed to absorb the impact when a vehicle crashes into them.

Acting Snr Sgt Barton said there had been one accident that he knew of since the barriers had been installed which occurred over Easter.

In that accident a vehicle travelling eastbound between Sale and Stratford struck the centre barrier during the day time.

He said there was minor damage to the barrier but the barrier had “performed its job and avoided a head-on with traffic”.

“I’m not aware of any other accidents,” Acting Snr Sgt Barton said.

“The idea of the barriers is to prevent vehicles travelling into a line of traffic.”

East Gippsland Acting Inspector of Police, Jerry Barlow, said he expected the barriers to reduce accidents considerably once the roadworks are completed.

“We won’t get any head-on collisions or cars into trees, so trauma will be down,” Acting Inspector Barlow said.

“I would expect it (car accident related trauma) to be down by at least 80 per cent.”

He said similar barriers installed on the Goulburn Valley Highway were a good example of the impact they have had on reducing road accidents.

ROAD TOLL SUMMIT

The State Government has called a summit bringing together road safety leaders, experts and advocates to better understand the sharp increase in the number of road deaths this year.

After a record low number of lives lost in 2018, it has been a tragic year so far on Victorian roads - it is the worst start to a year since 2008.

Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC, Jaala Pulford, said she was deeply concerned about the rate of road deaths and will bring together Victoria’s best road safety minds at the summit on May 31 to tackle the issue.

The summit will include experts from the TAC, VicRoads, Victoria Police, Monash University Accident Research Centre, RACV, Road Trauma Support Services Victoria and motorcycle and cycling advocates.

“Almost one person a day has died on Victorian roads this year – this is heartbreaking and unacceptable,” Ms Pulford said.

“Much work is already being done to eliminate road trauma in Victoria but we cannot and will not leave any stone unturned to make our roads safer.”


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