LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
I HAVE been a resident of the Fernbank area for 40 years, and a member of the CFA for about 30 years.
I have concerns about the roadworks between Bairnsdale and Stratford. There have been too many fatalities between these two towns in that time and I am not sure that the installation of these barriers will actually create a problem or solve the problem.
Many of the tragedies have occurred because of narrow bridges, suicide, wheel bearing failures on the highway, and blind intersections on the highway (created more obscure by the barrier installation).
Many other accidents - some quite serious - occur by wildlife, in particular wombats and kangaroos. The barriers don't seem to address these types of road tragedies.
We still have bridges and culverts that aren't aligned.
Avoiding wildlife in barrier areas is far more dangerous and potentially fatal.
Sadly suicide attempts on highways still happen and barriers create a "no escape route" for the unlucky third party involved.
The barriers prevent the CFA from accessing fires that start on the highway.
Large limbs that fall from the many uncleared trees along the highway have the potential to create major traffic hazards and at worst fatalities.
Highway fuel reduction is hampered and creates many issues in relation to traffic and an overall fire plan for the area, involving local communities and farms.
We need to consider the issue of road safety in a much broader perspective in order to address all of these issues.