RAISED intersections in Epping and Thomastown may be causing more vehicle accidents than reducing them after a probe into their benefits began in Parliament last week.
Installation of raised intersections started in February to encourage vehicles to slow down as they approach high risk intersections – but it seems to have caused issues for drivers not aware of the sudden speed bump, emergency vehicles and cars towing heavy trailers.
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Craig Ondarchie raised the issue in Parliament describing multiple adverse incidents that had occurred in his electorate.
“On Dalton Road – as a driver was towing a boat over the raised intersection, the trailer became unhinged and went through the back of the driver’s ute as he attempted to stop,” Mr Ondarchie said.
“Emergency service vehicles have almost crashed going over these intersections.
“CFA members have told me when they hit these intersections their equipment goes everywhere – there’s no warning.”
Raised intersections were installed in earlier this year at High and Cooper streets Epping, at Dalton Road intersections in Thomastown and High Street in Thomastown.
The intersections were installed at high-risk crossings as part of the state’s ‘Towards Zero’ campaign – a VicRoads campaign to achieve fewer than 200 deaths by 2020 and reduce serious injuries by 15 per cent on Victoria’s roads.
Motorcycle Riders Association spokesperson Damien Cogonotto said on a dark stormy night, the intersections could be dangerous.
“Sure, on a clear sunny day it would be fine, but on a dark stormy night – when the visibility is not great – where’s the car going to go when they hit those bumps at high speed?” he said.
Mr Ondarchie said he would like to know why VicRoads announced more raised speed bumps across Melbourne, but now have retracted the idea.
“VicRoads said there were no plans for further raised intersections – despite – having a statement on their website in 2008 saying that more high risk intersections will be raised – they’ve now come out and said actually that was a mistake on their website,” he said.
Wire rope road barriers are also a concern for Mr Ondarchie who is questioning why the State Government has been spruiking for the installation of the barriers – but has since backed away from the strategy – removing them from Wealthiland Drive in South Morang and Plenty Road in Bundoora.
“I just want answers,” Mr Ondarchie said.
Mr Cogonotto said wire rope barriers alongside roads have led to several motorcyclists’ death in regional Victoria.
“The problem with the wire rope barriers are the posts – if a motorcyclist comes off their bike and slides into these posts at 60km/hour you make be belted by 8 or 10 posts – that’ll kill you,” he said.
Minster for Roads is expected to respond to Mr Ondarchie’s safety concerns within 60 to 90 days.