More funding to make East Gippsland roads safer!

The Great Alpine Road between Bruthen and Bairnsdale and Bruthen-Nowa Nowa Road between Bruthen and Nowa Nowa is to receive a $2.55 million safety upgrade to tackle run-off-road crashes under this year’s Safety Road Infrastructure Program (SRIP), announced Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.

“The Great Alpine Road and the Bruthen-Nowa Nowa Road have become increasingly popular, with figures showing a strong increase in traffic volumes annually between 2002 and 2010.  

“These improvements will minimise the likelihood and severity of run-off-road crashes which have been a problem in recent years.

“From the start of 2007 to the end of 2011 there have been 33 reported crashes where someone was injured on these sections of road.  Sixteen of these were run-off-road type crashes.

“This crash history indicates a pattern of crashes where drivers stray off the road and lose control on unsealed shoulders.

“These works aim to reduce the frequency of vehicles leaving the road, and the severity of a crash in the instance that a vehicle runs off the road.

“Sealing road shoulders will give vehicles a greater chance to correct their path if they start to stray off the road, which is supported by audio tactile line marking that makes a loud noise when vehicles cross over the road’s edge line.

“Further to these preventative measures, the installation of wire rope and guard fence safety barriers will reduce the risk of impact with roadside hazards like trees and steep drop offs”, said Mr Bull.

“However, improving safety on our roads is not just the role of governments, but there needs to be a whole of community approach to reducing fatalities and injuries.  Motorists need to modify their driving behaviours adapting to a variety of road conditions, whether driving at night or in bad weather.”

Motorcycle safety barriers, which provide an extra barrier rail beneath guard fence so riders can’t slide underneath them, will also be installed at key locations.

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport welcomed the announcement.

“A critical part of reducing the road toll is building safety into the road environment,” Mr Chester said.

“While improved driver behaviour and enforcement measures are ongoing, the big challenge for State and Federal Governments is to ensure that we have the safest possible roads so that a little mistake doesn’t end in tragedy.”

The funding is provided by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) through the Safer Roads Infrastructure Program and is part of a 10-year commitment of $650 million.