Yet another truck accident on the Princes Highway between Stratford and Bairnsdale today has reinforced calls for an audit of the road.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said Safe Freight Networks Australia, which represents the heavy vehicle (trucking) industry has sought the audit citing:
• The centre barriers are too close to the moving traffic lane and a greater distance between barriers and traffic lane is required
• The surface is rough and extremely uneven resulting in trailers and prime movers being tossed around from side to side.
• Because of the unevenness of the road and lack of separation, livestock trailers are striking the barrier and causing injuries to cattle and other damage.
“The Safe Freight Alliance has stated ‘it is not opposed to the barriers, but believes the job is not done to a standard that meets the need of the industry or is fit for purpose’ and go on to state ‘the roads are our driver’s workplace and if this type of environment would be in any other part of the business, a workplace Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) would be applied to this section of highway’,” said Mr Bull.
“There are a number of local freight companies and individual truckies who contact my office every time there is an accident and say ‘when are they going to listen.’
“You just cannot go on defending the indefensible when experienced drivers are telling you it is not right.
“The authorities will say it was another head on avoided and while that is technically correct, we have to start looking into the reasons why trucks are continuously hitting the barriers on this stretch and not in other locations.
“Drivers who have not had an accident will tell you almost to the person, it is not a safe stretch of road for them,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: A section of centre barrier near Cann River that has one metre of separation between the barrier and the traffic lane, a much safer and more spacious design to that between Bairnsdale and Stratford.