Region’s roads in top 10 for safety issues

October 12, 2021 BY

Debris in a turnout on the Deans Marsh-Lorne Road. Photo: SUPPLIED

ROADS in the Geelong region have taken the unwelcome distinction of second, fifth and seventh place in a RACV poll about road safety issues across Victoria.

Last month, the RACV released the results of its My Country Road Survey, which had 4,000 submissions.

Deans Marsh-Lorne Road in Benwerrin received the second-highest number of responses, Queenscliff Road in Mannerim ranked fifth, while Skenes Creek Road in Skenes Creek was seventh.

The Deans Marsh-Lorne Road Safety (DMLR) Group, which formed about six years ago, welcomed the survey’s findings.

“This serves as vindication to the DMLR Safety Group for their lobbying to have this road maintained to a higher standard,” spokesperson Juliet Beatty said.

“At meetings with various managers of road safety and engineering over the past five years, chaired at the first meeting by Luke Britnell, Jill Chapman and I repeatedly urged the RRV to take action, but other than the removal of the bicycle-activated warning signs, which took four years to be addressed, very little improvement has been noticed.”

She said the group had several issues about the road it wanted addressed, including lowering the speed limit between Benwerrin and Lorne to 70kmh, regularly clearing roadside debris, more consistent speed sign locations for unfamiliar road users, and better storm water channel construction to stop overflow.

“Line painting is ad hoc, seemingly carried out piecemeal section by section,” she said.

“From memory of driving this road regularly for over 30 years, I cannot remember the complete 22km of the Deans Marsh-Lorne Road having painting carried out in one fell swoop.

“At the present time there are large sections of this road where the line painting both for centre lines, but more importantly for when vision is poor, the lines showing the edge of road are non-existent. This risk of a driver going over the edge is paramount.”

RACV executive general manager of motoring and mobility Phil Turnbull thanked all Victorians who took the time to complete the survey.

“The local knowledge 4,000 Victorians have provided us about safety on our regional roads is invaluable,” he said.

“The number of responses received for each road is a good indicator that Victorians think these roads need improvement.

“As a safety advocate, it’s important that RACV closely examines what Victorians think are the factors contributing to less safe conditions, so we can provide that information to government to help inform their planning. We also asked for possible solutions.

“Overall, Victorians felt that dangerous driver behaviour is the biggest contributing factor to safety conditions on our roads.”

There were several possible solutions that RACV will take to the state government for consideration. These include road maintenance, speed limits and infrastructure improvements for bicycles.

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