Safety improvements for barriers on highway

SAFETY improvements will be made to the steel barriers along the Princes Highway between Stratford and Sale following concerns about poor visibility and confusion for drivers.

The temporary barriers, which look like concrete, are in place to stop vehicles travelling in the far left lane (heading toward Sale) during roadworks.

However, drivers have complained that the barriers are difficult to see at night, and the road diversion is unclear and poorly signed.

Last week at least one perplexed driver was seen attempting to continue to use the left hand lane, driving alongside the barrier, only to have to reverse 200 metres back on to the road when it was discovered there was no exit path.

VicRoads safe system road infrastructure program director, Bryan Sherritt, said the temporary barriers were in place to ensure the safety of workers and drivers on the Princes Highway, as major safety upgrades continued between Sale and Stratford.

“We’ve already installed some lighting and will be adding reflective markers in coming days to make the barriers more visible at night,” he said.

“To make it even safer for our workers and drivers, we ask that people travelling on this stretch of the Princes Highway take care and adhere to the reduced speed limits.”

The barriers will be in place at various locations until the end of this year.

Mr Sherritt said the safety of the barriers would be further assessed after reflective markers were added to determine whether any more measures were needed to improve visibility.

The road widening works are part of a major safety upgrade to the Princes Highway between Sale and Bairnsdale, which is one of the highestrisk rural roads in Victoria.

This is part of the state government’s Towards Zero Action Plan, which is being delivered in partnership between the TAC and VicRoads.

Towards Zero aims to ensure no one is killed or seriously injured on roads.

THE RACV is calling on VicRoads and contracted traffic management companies erecting roadwork signs and speed limits to “lift their game”.

The insurance company is calling for reforms that include a step up in the monitoring and surveillance of all traffic management across Victoria by VicRoads and councils, and greater penalties for contractors who break the rules.

The RACV is concerned about lower roadwork speed limits that start well before and continue long after actual works, or are in locations that are unnecessary. It is also targeting signs that are mistakenly left in place when the works have been completed.

The RACV is encouraging drivers to report issues with roadworks signs directly to the responsible road authority.