Fatalities reduced: Wire safety barriers along the Bruce Highway have been repaired 28 times since their installation five years ago and saved many lives along the once horror section of road.
Fatalities reduced: Wire safety barriers along the Bruce Highway have been repaired 28 times since their installation five years ago and saved many lives along the once horror section of road. Craig Warhurst

Wire rope barrier saves 28 lives

AT least 28 lives have been saved since a wire rope barrier was installed along a once horror stretch of Bruce Highway at Federal in 2005.

Figures exclusively revealed to The Gympie Times by the Department of Transport and Main Roads show on 28 separate occasions repairs have had to be undertaken on the wire safety measure after vehicles have crashed into them, preventing major head on collisions.

The most recent repair job was logged this week. A catalyst for the installation of the wire barrier were three fatal crashes at the same spot in six months during 2005; including the death of off-duty ambulance officer Zac Leto and his three-year-old daughter Ashley. And the news is music to highway campaigner Wayne Sachs’ ears.

He said it was a good move to install the wire barriers, which he says have stopped head on crashes.

“I also think the 90 kilometre per hour speed limit has been working,” he said.

While Gympie Region Councillor Larry Friske said he agreed the 90kmh speed zone from Cooroy to Curra had worked to reduce the level of serious crashes, he called for more money to complete the highway upgrade. “I think the federal government would be far better off spending the $40 billion they are prepared to spend on broadband on giving Australian’s better highways,” he said.

The Queensland Road Safety Steering Committee, Local Government Representative said the statistics he saw showed the biggest cause of crashes was inattention.

“The barriers certainly pay their part in keeping traffic apart.”

He said the sooner a wide median strip, the Federal Government announced they would install between Cooroy in Gympie, went in the better.

“Anything that gets drivers’ attention back on driving has got to be good.

“It would be really great to see four lanes open from Cooroy to Curra. And it would be great to bypass traffic from the middle of town.”

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said the department invested $300,000 into the wire rope safety barriers at Federal, which they called an “important safety initiative”, as part of the Safer Roads Sooner Program. “The wire rope barrier at Federal is a safety initiative that is designed to prevent vehicles from crossing onto the wrong side of the road into the path of oncoming vehicles,” the departmental spokesperson said.

Recently the RACQ renewed their calls for the Bruce Highway upgrade.

Gympie Times


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