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Friday, 15 January 2016



The wire rope barrier on the central median strip of the Monash Freeway in Melbourne failed to stop an out-of-control car this week. At 6.30 am a car hit the WRB, went over it and crashed into oncoming traffic. 

According to road authorities this can't happen. But it does. It happens a lot and people die. Near Ballarat on the Western Highway, two dead. It happened at Pyalong near Bendigo, four dead. Fortunately, in this Melbourne case speeds were low and there no deaths.

These WRB crashes are hard to find in crash data because investigators mostly don't record the type of barrier involved or the exact location. Safety research on WRB crashes in the wide range of Australian conditions is almost non-existent. This lack of road safety data has been documented in more than one Parliamentary Inquiry. Several countries in Europe have banned WRB.

VicRoads has spent over a billion tax dollars installing more than 700 kms of WRB in this State and it plans to double that.

Commuter traffic inbound on the Monash came to a virtual stand still. The road was all but closed for an hour and a half during the morning rush. A nightmare for any large city. What did that cost? And, what will
be the cost in human injury and death from WRB crashes in 2016?

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)

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