Barrier placement questioned

The placement of wire rope safety barriers along the Calder Freeway has once again been questioned following a spectacular crash at Taradale on Saturday afternoon.
A driver and passenger – two men from Bendigo – miraculously escaped injury when their twin-cab ute and trailer glanced the centre wire rope barriers before bouncing sideways across the traffic into the kerbside barrier, which they say acted like a trip and flipped the vehicle over the top and down a gully.
SES Castlemaine controller Paul Fitzpatrick said the driver lost control in wet conditions in a 110km/h zone at about 1pm on Saturday.
A local CFA captain on the scene also claimed the centre barriers had been installed too close to the roadway, stating specifications required them to be a minimum of four metres from the carriageway.
Elphinstone captain Andrew Chapman said the distance between barriers and carriageway was about two metres along this stretch of road.
“In days gone by when we had an accident like that one the Calder we had plenty of room to move traffic around the scene and keep it flowing, whereas Saturday we probably had a two-kilometre line of traffic held up because we simply haven’t got the room to move now that we’ve got those barriers in there,” Mr Chapman said. “VicRoads say that ideally cars would hit the barrier on an angle between five and 25 degrees and no more than 100 kilometres an hour, but the speed limit along there is 110km/h and you cannot have a car hit it between five and 25 degrees every time there’s an accident.
“I believe that it’s a only a matter of time before someone is injured or killed because of the way the barriers are currently installed.”
Mr Chapman said everyone he talked to agreed the barriers should have been installed in a single row along the centre of the median, rather than in two rows along either side.
“VicRoads’ shows data that the wire rope barriers save lives, and they probably do, but they’re also going to cost lives,” he said.
“The VicRoads data is that they prevent run-off-road crashes and head-on crashes but the fact is that in a decade there hasn’t been one head-on smash on the new Calder Freeway.”
VicRoads’ Safe System Road Infrastructure Program director Bryan Sherritt said the centreline flexible safety barriers were designed to prevent vehicles from crossing onto the wrong side of the road and hitting oncoming traffic, or roadside trees and other hazards.
“There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to the rollout of flexible safety barriers, and that’s why we are continuing to work with CFA Regional Command, who unequivocally support the roll out of flexible safety barriers, to make sure that any issues raisedby local brigades are addressed,” Mr Sherritt said.

A ute carrying another ute on a trailer crashed into two sets of wire rope barriers on the Calder Freeway at Taradale before flipping and landing in a gully. Photo: IET Systems

2 thoughts on “Barrier placement questioned

  • September 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    They just dont want to say we have got it wrong. Pride is going to cost lives

  • May 4, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    The wire barriers are NOT there for the safety of the general public who are commuting in their privately owned vehicles.
    The state government is about to launch fully autonomous freight vehicles that will require a dedicated lane on all arterial roads.
    The wire barriers have been installed in the positions that they have to accommodate the roll out in 2020 (just after the elections) of these fully autonomous vehicles that are made in Europe and will be owned by fleet companies.
    There will also be docking stations and inland ports for these fully autonomous freight vehicles.
    The massive job losses in the freight industry and other sub businesses will be devastating.
    Simultaneously, the roll out of electric FLEET vehicles, as promoted by Labor leader, Bill Shorten, will be introduced as a pay as you go system as they phase out private vehicle ownership.
    These electric vehicles are too expensive for most people to buy and therefore, those who can’t afford to buy one will be forced to pay the estimated $1.00+ per km to travel in a pre booked and paid for automated fleet vehicle on a ride-share basis.
    The reason you’re not being told about it is because it is socialism/communism at work to enforce total control and containment of people into their utopian ‘liveable cities’ and ’10 minute neighbourhoods’ in the pack ’em and stack ’em beehive residential developments where the streets are too narrow (by design) to park a private vehicle and the houses are now being built without shelter/accommodation/parking for a vehicle.
    I kid you not. This is what Labor, Liberals and the Greens are implementing right now and it WILL BE introduced after the election if people don’t wake up and think about who they vote into power at the coming election.


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