Gippsland South The Nationals Roads Road safety

O’Brien calls for safety barrier investigation

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to investigate the role of new centre line safety barriers in an accident that occurred near Sale yesterday morning.

Mr O’Brien raised the matter in State Parliament, saying yesterday’s accident on the Princes Highway had highlighted the concerns of many Gippslanders about the roll-out of wire rope and centre line barriers.

“The accident saw a large truck go straight through a new centre-line barrier that has been installed as part of the rollout of wire rope and centre-line safety barriers,” Mr O’Brien said.

“According to police, the truck hit the start of the barrier where it appears in the middle of the road, crossed to the wrong side of the road and ended up in a roadside drain after hitting a power pole. Thankfully, no-one was injured.

“This accident needs full investigation to ascertain whether the centre-line barrier helped, hindered or was indeed part of the cause of the accident. In the interests of full transparency the government must investigate.

“I’m asking for an investigation because there is serious concern about whether this new centre-line barrier was in fact part of the problem rather than part of the solution with this accident.

“In this case the barrier did not serve its purpose because it has been obliterated by the truck and it still crossed the road,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said the Minister’s recent description of anyone questioning the barriers as “banjo-playing dingbats” showed he is out of touch.

“The Minister for Roads and Road Safety should stop calling people names and investigate this incident as a matter of urgency.

“We have had senior Country Fire Authority officers in Gippsland, we have had volunteers, we have had truckies and we have had motorcyclists and many others, including the vast majority of the public, worried about the rollout of these barriers and in particular where they have been placed.

“They cannot all be, as the Minister said, ‘banjo-playing dingbats’.”

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