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LETTER: Advocating for safe roads

SIR, – As Horsham Community and Police Consultative Committee chair I fully support your editorial, September 15, 2021, drawing attention to the ‘ever-present danger we face on our roads’.

The dreadful crash on the Western Highway at the rest stop near Dadswells Bridge again focuses attention on the risk and road-safety concerns, especially of vehicles undertaking a right-hand turn from the through-traffic lane, especially on the highly trafficked and national Western Highway.

The HCPCC has previously drawn the attention of VicRoads, Regional Roads Victoria and Horsham Rural City Council to a similarly considerably dangerous location in Horsham on the Western Highway-Stawell Road between Osborne Road and Henty Highway. Here, where in a commercial-industrial zone, local traffic, including heavy vehicles, have to commit to a right-hand turn from the through-traffic lane with the risk of rear-end crashes as occurred at Dadswells Bridge.

This location has further risk factors with pedestrians and cyclists using the parking lane or road shoulder as their only alternative carriageway, no lighting and parked vehicles usually in the outer lanes.

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The HCPCC has been advised by Regional Roads Victoria that there is no ‘network crash analysis’ at this location, therefore this situation does not warrant any road-safety priority.

We have suggested that adding an ‘all-turns’ third lane in this 500-metre section of the Western Highway would provide a significant safety improvement and reduction in risk of rear end crashes particularly if provided, the provision of nominated pedestrian and cyclist pathways.

The only positive in this location is the speed limit of 70kmh. The HCPCC will continue to advocate for highway road-safety improvements in this and other locations.

The HCPCC has a primary objective of considering all community safety concerns and would welcome any other potential road-trauma-location concerns, in our area, being brought to our notice where our committee might be an advocate for projects that improve road safety and reduce road trauma.

David Eltringham

Horsham Community and Police Consultative Committee chair

The entire September 22, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!