Yet another crash sparks Princes Highway road audit
EVERY time there’s a truck accident on the Princes Highway, Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull hears this from truckies: “When are they going to listen?”
Well, it seems they have been listening – Mr Bull and the Safe Freight Networks Australia at least.
The highway is back in the news again after another truck accident recently, reinforcing calls for an audit of the road.
“You just cannot go on defending the indefensible when experienced drivers are telling you it is not right,” Mr Bull, who has previously successfully lobbied to scrap plans to have 25km of barriers erected on the highway in questions, said.
“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.”
The Alliance, which comprises of a range of people associated with the heavy vehicle freight industry across Gippsland including local governments, VicRoads TSS, VicRoads engineering, police and freight operators, has sought an audit, citing several problems with the road.
Those problems are that the centre barriers are too close to the moving traffic lane and a greater distance between barriers and the traffic lane is required; the surface is rough and extremely uneven resulting in trailers and prime movers being tossed around from side to side; and because of the unevenness of the road and lack of separation, livestock trailers are striking the barrier, causing injuries to cattle and other damage.
Mr Bull said the Alliance stated it “is not opposed to the barriers but believes the job is not done to a standard that meets the needs of the industry or is fit for purpose”.
He said they state: “The roads are our driver’s workplace and if this type of environment would be in any other part of the business, a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) would be applied to this section of the highway”.