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Have your say on Victoria’s most dangerous regional roads

As many truckies will attest, the state of many of our regional roads is simply unacceptable. Now, the RACV is calling on the drivers that use them to pinpoint Victoria’s most dangerous regional roads through the My Country Road survey.

The My Country Road survey uses an interactive map showing high-speed roads with large concentrations of crashes causing death or serious injury in regional Victoria. It seeks comments from people with local knowledge.

The map highlights 169 roads with speed limits of 80km per hour or higher where there have been several fatal or serious crashes for the five-year period between 2014 and 2018. Victorians can provide feedback by clicking on one of the 169 highlighted roads or drop a pin and fill out a survey for another location.

RACV’s Senior Manager Transport, Planning and Infrastructure Peter Kartsidimas said that over the past five years, more than half the deaths on Victoria’s roads have occurred on regional roads, but only about a quarter of Victorians actually live in regional areas.

“It’s not only the obviously risky roads, such as those that are narrow or winding, that pose a danger to motorists. For example, three people lost their lives and three were seriously injured on a short, straight 3.5 kilometre section of Ballarat’s Remembrance Drive in the five-year period,” Kartsidimas said.

“We want to find out what local residents think. For example, is the speed limit too high given the condition of the road? What are the potential dangers in the road design like narrow lanes, power poles or trees too close to the road, or unexpected things like livestock or native animals on the road?”

Late last year, we found out that the Budget included $2 billion towards road safety initiatives. It was said that this ‘use it or lose it’ funding program was expected to deliver an estimated 3,000 kilometres of lifesaving road improvements across the nation.

Just a few weeks ago, we also heard of Victoria’s ‘$245 million road improvement blitz’, where over 100 road safety projects will begin their rollout across the state. Among these are safety improvements on the Midland Highway between Daylesford and Guildford, on Portarlington-Queenscliff Road at Portarlington and improving safety barriers on the Western Highway.

But the question that remains is, will all of this be anywhere near enough?

Kartsidimas said RACV will use input from Victorian drivers to lobby all levels of government to make regional roads safer and look at lowering speeds on some roads to match conditions.

RACV estimates 80 per cent of the 180,000 kilometres of regional roads with 100km per hour speed limits in Victoria need upgrading.

“The survey provides an opportunity for RACV to shine a light on the complexity of addressing road safety in regional Victoria, given the condition of the network, the spread of crashes across the state and the funding available,” Kartsidimas said.

“Once the data is collated, the next step is for RACV to advocate on the behalf of Victorians to ensure our regional roads are safe for everyone.”

To access the My Country Road survey, click here.

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