RACV is urging Bendigo federal candidates to back upgrades to central Victorian roads.
This call came after the RACV investigated data from the 2013 Australian Road Safety Assessment Program (AusRAP).
According to statistics the Calder Highway between Bendigo and Mildura and parts of the Calder Freeway are missing safety features including crash barriers, rumble strips and wide shoulders.
RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones said an investment of $150 million into the Calder Freeway/Highway would eradicate the dangerous sections of the road.
He said investing in improvements could save at least 619 people from serious injury or death on the Calder Freeway/Highway over the next 20 years.
“A staggering 49 per cent of the Calder Freeway/Highway obtained an unacceptable one or two AusRAP safety star rating,” Mr Jones said.
“This is an abysmal result. The Calder is one of the key state’s routes connecting regional communities such as Mildura, Wedderburn, Bendigo and Kyneton and carries a large volume of freight and commuter traffic.”
The investment would be a part of the RACV’s state wide Safer Roads Investment Plan.
A total of 290 kilometres of the Calder Freeway/Highway has a safety star rating of two or less stars.
Mr Jones said if money was invested into the dangerous road then the safety star rating would go above the minimum three safety star standard.
“There is still work that needs to be done between Melbourne and Bendigo on the Calder Freeway,” he said. “It is not as safe as they could be. Even though it looks of a high quality there are some safety deficiencies that need to be fixed up.”
Mr Jones said over the years not enough money was spent on upgrading national highways across Victoria.
“I think all the national highways have been neglected,” he said. “But I think there is higher expectations and higher needs in terms of road safety.”
Mr Jones encouraged residents to sign the RACV Demand Better Roads petition online at www.demandbetterroads.com.au/petition