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Britnell - Wire rope barriers involved in two serious incidents

Monday, 4 November 2019

Wire rope barriers involved in two serious incidents

Questions have again been raised about the rollout of wire rope barriers following two serious incidents in four days.

This morning, a truck rolled on the Princes Highway after reportedly clipping a wire rope barrier. The driver of that vehicle was tragically killed.

Police will look into the design of the wire rope barrier as part of the investigation.

On Friday, a caller to 3AW implicated the barriers in a grassfire which closed the Hume Freeway at Clonbinane in both directions for two hours.

The caller said – “We were driving up the Hume and following a caravan and its tyre exploded … and because of the wire barriers he couldn’t pull over, so he drove for about another kilometre and a half, pulling his caravan, and it slowly disintegrated. Sparks flew off the side and it started a bushfire.”

These two incidents add to warnings from emergency services that the placement of wire rope barriers is hampering their responses to emergencies and concerns about locations where there is nowhere to pull off to the side of the road because of wire rope barriers.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell:

“Earlier this year I was told about a near fatal incident in Gippsland involving a truck and wire rope barriers – everywhere I go, truck drivers and other road users are sharing their concerns about these barriers with me.

“Daniel Andrews and Labor have been ignoring the evidence for years that there are serious issues with the rushed rollout of wire rope barriers.

“When installed correctly, these barriers can save lives, no one is denying that, but there is strong evidence right across the state of areas where barriers have been installed incorrectly, effectively fencing people in with the potential for fatal consequences.

“The Auditor-General is conducting an audit of the wire rope barrier program and Daniel Andrews and Labor must commit to implementing all recommendations that come from that report.”