A pre-election promise to halt the rollout of wire rope barriers (WRBs) in Victoria falls short of advocating against their use.
The promise has been made by the Victorian Liberal Nationals ahead of this month’s State election. They are not advocating against their use.
“The Liberal Nationals support properly placed and installed wire rope barriers,” their media statement says.
“If done properly they can prevent some serious accidents and they can save lives.”
Bad Roads Rally
The promise is not good enough, says the organiser of the Bad Roads Rally.
The November 18 rally will highlight the concern of riders about WRBs as well as the parlous state of Victorian roads.
It will be held in Bendigo at Rosalind Park at 1pm on Sunday, 18 November 18, a week before the election. It follows the first Bad Roads Rally held in May.
The rally not only calls for the immediate halt to the rollout of WRBs, but also to “reverse the neglect of rural roads” and “stop VicRoads/TAC spending huge amounts of our money on media campaigns that should be spent on fixing country roads”.
Organiser Damien Codognotto says that if the Liberal-National Party wins the election and they halt the rollout of WRBs barrier as they promise it “opens a whole new can of worms for VicRoads/TAC/VicPol”.
“It may raise the question of legal liability,” says Damien of the Motorcycle Riders Association (formerly the Independent Riders Group).
“VicPol is getting a reputation for selective witness statements after serious crashes.
“Add to the mix that the Vic Coroner’s Court is a toxic mess that everyone wants to avoid looking at.
“I do not fully agree with the policy of a temporary halt to WRB. Road authorities in this country should ban WRB for two reasons: It is killing people and over time it is the most expensive road barrier ever. Someone is making a lot of money.”
Riders have long been divided on whether WRBs are dangerous or not.
The Australian Motorcycle Council view is that they are not dangerous if placed correctly and not on corners. They also say they are cheaper so more funds can be devoted to safer barriers such as lower rub rails.
However, thousands have now signed a petition to halt the rollout in Victoria launched by Liberal MP Richard Riordan (Polwarth) at the request of widow Jan White.
The Liberal Nationals say the government has “botched the installation of Wire Rope Barriers and it’s putting the lives of motorists and emergency services at risk”.
Here is the text of their statement:
We are concerned that the latest round of wire rope barriers are being installed in the wrong places and without proper planning and making some roads more dangerous instead of safer,” the statement says.
Some of the specific concerns about the latest installations include:
· Impeding access and manoeuvrability for emergency services;
· Compromising motorcycle safety if a rider connects with the barrier;
· Wire Roper Barriers installed too close to the side of the road that inhibit drivers pulling over safely due to a flat tire or a breakdown; and
· Considerable vegetation growth under the barrier rope which pose a significant fire risk and maintenance issues.
A Liberal Nationals Government will suspend Daniel Andrews’ botched rollout of Wire Rope Barriers and undertake a review of the process.
The review will include consultation with key stakeholders such as the CFA and RACV to determine a common sense approach to the placement and extent of future Wire Rope Barriers implementation.