THE State Government says it is committed to doing everything it can to reduce Victoria’s road toll after a shocking start to the year which has seen eight people die on Ballarat roads.
Roads and Roads Safety Minister Jaala Pulford said she has been hurt by spate of fatalities on the roads, three of which have occurred along straight sections of the Western Freeway between Wallace and Ballan which are currently being upgraded with wire barriers.
It is important to note that two of the three fatalities along that stretch of road have occurred in spots where wire barriers have yet to be installed.
On Wednesday night, an 84-year-old man from Rosanna was killed in a head-on collision. Investigations are trying to determine how one of the two cars involved in the smash ended up on the wrong side of the road.
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have recorded dashcam footage during the night between Ballarat and Wallace to find out how the incident unfolded.
Ms Pulford said the safety barriers would continue to be installed across Victoria.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our hearts go out to the family and friends impacted by this crash,” she said.
“We all have a role to play when it comes to road safety and that’s why we’re delivering the $1.4 billion Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy and will continue to invest in the things that we know save lives on our roads.
“While Victoria is moving in the right direction with our approach to road safety, it is of no comfort to the families and friends of the people who have died on our roads – and that’s why we will continue to do more.”
Flexible safety barriers are designed to stretch and absorb the force of a crash, bringing the vehicle to a gradual stop, however every crash situation is unique.
READ MORE: The hidden toll of road trauma
Ms Pulford said there was no one-size-fits-all approach to barriers and when determining the most effective safety improvements, authorities consider the roadside environment, the type of vehicles using the road and the crash history.
When the barriers were installed last year on country roads, Victoria’s country road toll fell 30 per cent, single-handedly the contributing factor to a record low road toll.
Anyone who can assist police with information about Wednesday night’s crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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