Labor’s road safety priorities are all wrong

Daniel Andrews has spent more money defending his botched wire rope barrier program than on the Government’s campaigns related to drug driving, driver fatigue and vehicle safety combined.

Figures buried deep within the TAC 2018-19 Annual Report highlight that the government spent $2.45 million defending its flawed roll out of wire-rope barriers which could have been better spent on road safety advertising campaigns to address the most serious factors contributing to deaths on Victorian roads.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said the problems across our highways and C Class roads in Eastern Victoria must be fixed and better maintained before new barriers are installed.

“Regional and rural people deserve safer roads, but instead they’re becoming a death trap due to poorly placed barriers and substandard road maintenance,” Ms Bath said.

“Poorly positioned wire rope barriers prevent vehicles from safely pulling over, while pot holes and crumbling roads and shoulders are putting lives at risk.

“It’s alarming that Daniel Andrews has spent more advertising money defending his defective wire rope barriers program, than he spent raising awareness to make our roads safer.”

The TAC Annual Report also highlights the disproportionate lives lost on regional roads in Victoria.

Ms Bath said we know that half the lives lost in Victoria during 2018 were on regional roads, despite only one quarter of the state’s population living in regional Victoria.

“The Andrews Labor Government has lost the plot on road safety in a year where Victoria’s road toll has spiralled out of control with a 27% increase in lives lost.

“Clearly road safety in regional Victoria is not a priority for the Andrews Government.

“Gippsland constituents regularly complain and express their frustrations over shoddy roads surfaces, wire rope barriers, poorly maintained shoulders and cheap patch up jobs that don’t last.

“If Daniel Andrews was serious about tackling Victoria’s road safety crisis, he would properly invest in regional roads, instead of funding poorly planned road infrastructure projects across Melbourne which have been plagued with billion-dollar budget blow outs.

“Many Gippslanders are concerned community safety will continue to be compromised if the State Government continue to disregard regional roads maintenance.”

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching and many holiday makers heading to the popular destinations of East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Bass Coast and the Mornington Peninsula, Ms Bath is urging motorists to stay alert, be patient and drive to the road conditions.

Eastern Victoria boasts many of Victoria’s popular holiday destination, making Gippsland roads more congested and at higher risk than normal.

“It is important to drive cautiously in order to navigate the risks created and arrive at your destination safely,” Ms Bath said.