06 Jun 2016
A new stretch of wire rope barrier on the Melba Highway near Yea has saved three lives, after a driver crashed into the barrier when he fell asleep at the wheel.
The near-miss happened at the new Victorian first centreline wire-rope barrier that was installed in September last year.
The innovative road treatment is part of the Andrews Government’s Towards Zero Action Plan, with similar barriers to be installed across the state to prevent head-on collisions.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the Melba Highway centreline wire rope barrier had already prevented a head-on crash, after a man in his forties fell asleep at the wheel.
“By installing these innovative barriers three lives have been saved. It shows we are on the right path in investing in safer roads in our state to save lives,” Mr Donnellan said.
Peter said he was woken by his dual cab ute and trailer hitting the wire-rope and then sliding along the barrier for about 60 metres before he regained control and pulled over.
A couple travelling on the other side of the barrier say they feel lucky to be alive after the wire-rope protected them from being hit by the out-of-control car.
The couple say a head-on collision would have been inevitable without the barrier, as their vehicle was no further than 20 metres from the other vehicle when it hit the wire-rope.
Minister Donellan said nearly half of Victoria’s road deaths happen on high speed rural roads and most are from head-on collisions or run-off-the-road crashes.
“We’re investing in innovative road upgrades on high speed rural roads, where nearly half Victorian road fatalities happen,” Mr Donnellan said.
Last year alone, run off road and head on crashes accounted for 163 deaths in Victoria, and already 83 fatalities as a result of these crashes have occurred in 2016.
Centreline wire rope barriers stop these high speed crash types from occurring.
A key component of the Government’s Towards Zero Action Plan 2016-2020, will deliver significant safety benefits for Victorians with the installation of 330km of wire rope barriers on high speed, high volume rural roads.
“To get Towards Zero, we need to create a safer system and that starts with our $340 million investment in rural roads.”
A re-encactment of how a flexible barrier near Yea on the Melba Highway prevented a head on crash.