Bad road leaves driver out of pocket

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

WHAT are we meant to do to get VicRoads to repair country highways?

It seems the further away you get from Melbourne, the worse condition our roads are in.

I thought part of our vehicle registration went towards maintaining our roads, as does everyone else that I have spoken to.

On returning from a Pink concert on August 20 we drove through an extremely dangerous pothole in the road just before Yarragon.

It was not noticeable at the time because it was raining and the hole was full of water.

There were no signs warning of ‘rough surface’ ahead.

We ended up with two split tyres and bent rims on the driver’s side and were unable to drive the vehicle home that night.

I rang VicRoads at 9am the next morning to let them know of the situation, and by the time my husband returned about 11am with a trailer to pick up the car, subcontractors had just filled the pothole.

My disappointment is that after trying to claim our expense of $600 through Vicroads, they have rejected the claim stating that “they do not accept liability in the matter under section 110(3) of the Road Management Act 2004 and are not liable for property damage caused by the road or infrastructure that is equal to or less than $1290”.

Why should it not be responsible? It’s not our fault that a large pothole on its road caused damage to our car and caused us to be out of pocket.

Also, if we were told they wouldn’t cover any amount under $1290, I would have got new rims instead of getting the damaged ones repaired.

I have contacted a lawyer, to be told initial legal fees are $1000.

I also contacted the Victorian ombudsman and was told that they can no longer overturn any decision that has been made, only review the administration side of the issue.