Risky section of Princes Highway gets cash injection

A stretch of Victoria's Princes Highway East receives a significant funding boost to improve safety

August 9, 2011

A stretch of Victoria’s Princes Highway East has received a significant funding boost to improve safety.

A $7.6 million investment is part of a wider $36 million program to reduce the crash rate along the highway from Longwarry through to the NSW border.

The announcement includes a $4.3 million cash injection in the highway between Stratford and Bairnsdale and a $3.32 million safety upgrade from Orbost to Cann River.

Premier Ted Baillieu says the Stratford to Bairnsdale section has severe fatigue-related crash trends due to the monotonous nature of the road and distance from metropolitan areas.

"For the period between 2005 and the end of 2010 there were 15 reported run-off-road crashes resulting in eight fatalities and 19 people suffering serious injuries," he says.

"More than three quarters of these crashes involved vehicles leaving the road to the right with over half then crashing head-on into coming cars."

Baillieu says the 74km section of the highway between Orbost and Cann River covers mountainous terrain and heavily vegetated roadsides.

"The crash history shows a strong pattern of vehicles leaving the road on curves," he says.

"Over the last five years there have been 40 crashes on this particular section of highway and 35 of these were run-off-road crashes of which five tragically resulted in fatalities."

Baillieu says the Coalition Government is committed to improving safety on Victoria’s roads.

Last month Deputy Premier and Police Ministr Peter Ryan launched the three-year Regional Victoria Road Trauma Reduction Strategy with Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police Kieran Walshe in Warragul.

The strategy seeks to reduce the number of country Victorians in the annual road toll figures.

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