Botched wire rope barrier roll-out puts lives at risk

The installation of kilometres of wire rope barriers on Victorian country roads so close to the roadway has been an appalling breach of VicRoads’ own design guidelines.

Sooner or later, it’s likely to end in tragedy as someone who hits the barrier bounces out again in front of oncoming vehicles, or a vehicle forced to pull over due to accident or illness is struck by passing traffic.

The VicRoads guidelines make clear there needs to be as wide an offset as possible to allow vehicles that leave the road to stop safely clear of the traffic lanes – preferably 4 metres or more, 3 metres at minimum, and less than that only when unavoidable.

Questions need to be answered about who allowed the barriers to be built so close to the roadway, and why the government has failed to act urgently as soon as it found out.

A Liberal Nationals government will halt the roll-out of barriers in breach of the guidelines and make sure that barriers are installed properly so they can save lives instead of putting lives at risk.

To read the official VicRoads guidelines specifying the offsets that wire rope safety barriers need to have, see Road Design Note RDN 06-02.