DRIVER faults can be blamed for pretty much every crash on Remembrance Drive in the past few years but a Ballarat councillor says it can’t be that simple.
Cr Daniel Moloney, who is also a member of the Avenue of Honour Committee, said something had to be done to fix sections of the 22km Avenue of Honour to not only save lives, but also trees planted to remember the fallen.
At the weekend six people were injured – five seriously in a two-car collision. One woman in her 20s, a Singapore national, remains fighting for her life in hospital.
Cr Moloney said it was clear there was a problem that needed addressing.
“One of the reasons why the Avenue is so successful and one of the longest in the world is because there’s been constant adaptions as cars and populations have increased,” he said.
“There’s been the additions of three sets of traffic lights, the duplicated road at the arch, there’s been intersections where the trees have been set back.
“We’ve proven it can be done in a sympathetic way and a roundabout (at Saturday’s accident scene) does make a lot of sense, you could do it in a way that’s safe and respects the integrity of the avenue. You can have road safety and integrity of the Avenue and I refuse to believe you can’t have it both ways.”
READ MORE: WOMAN CHARGED OVER AVENUE CRASH
Just last week a 19-year-old man was also left a critical condition after his car hit a tree along the Avenue.
Since that crash, conversations have centred on whether wire barriers would have stopped the man suffering life threatening injuries.
Major Collision Investigation Unit Detective Sergeant Mark Amos, who is in charge of the investigation into Saturday night’s crash, said without a doubt barriers do save lives.
“It’s the $64,000 question and there’s not any one answer,” he said.
“Wire barriers, they work. If they didn’t make a difference, why are so many being installed on the Hume Freeway and the Western Freeway?
“I have no doubt that council and VicRoads are looking at crash stats, and deciding what they can do, that’s their job.”
A spokesman for Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the state government would look at what could be done.
“We’ll work with the Ballarat community and Regional Roads Victoria to explore the most appropriate options to enhance safety along the Avenue,” he said.
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