11 Sep 2015
The Andrews Labor Government has started work on an innovative new road safety project that will help to reduce deaths and serious injuries on regional roads.
VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) will install a Victorian-first wire rope safety barrier down the centre of a one-kilometre stretch of the Melba Highway, near Yea.
The project will be used as a demonstration site for the life-saving capabilities of centre line wire rope barrier in preventing head-on collisions and crossing centreline crashes.
Using a centre line wire rope barrier has been identified as an effective safety measure to prevent vehicles crossing the centreline.
The Melba Highway project will guide the rollout of similar projects to reduce head-on collisions in other parts of the state, including the Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Road and the Goulburn Valley Highway.
This is an innovative pilot project to allow drivers to become accustomed to a new driving environment over this one-kilometre stretch of road.
The $350,000 upgrade will also include rumble strip edge lines, reflective posts and more than 400 safety cushions to provide added protection for motorcyclists.
The use of a centreline wire rope barrier has been successfully implemented in several two-lane roads around Australia and overseas including the Pacific Highway, New South Wales, the Midland Highway, Tasmania and the Centennial Highway, New Zealand.
In each case, the number of crossing the centreline crashes has reduced dramatically.
Last year alone, run off road and head on crashes accounted for 91 deaths in Victoria, and already 71 fatalities as a result of these crashes have occurred in 2015.
VicRoads will keep the community informed of changes to traffic management while the project is underway with works expected to be completed by the end of September.
Following construction, the community will be invited to provide feedback on the new safer driving environment through a formal evaluation process.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
"The installation of wire rope barriers down the centre of the Melba Highway is a first for Victoria and will help prevent head-on crashes and reduce the severity of the impact on the vehicle."
"This will stop vehicles crossing into oncoming traffic, providing added protection for motorists from death or serious injury when a mistake is made."
"We know people make mistakes and they shouldn't have to pay for them with their life."