It is an unfortunate reality that some of the most efficient road safety measures, particularly those relating to road design and infrastructure, cost a great deal and are therefore rolled out slowly.
Of course the ongoing key contributing factor to accidents, human error is infinitely more difficult to account for or control but until the advent of driver-less cars (and these too will come with their own issues) infrastructure upgrades in the lower order may deliver the best return in lives.
And one of the latest additions to this armoury which helps ameliorate human error on the roads is the design of roadside barriers and road dividers. While the traditional new wire roadside strips have been around for some time and have proven results in dissipating the energy and speed of a collision, improved designs specifically if they are extended to the middle of two lane roads could further lower the road toll.
The first stage of implementation of wire barriers however is the simpler roadside wire strips and these alone could have an almost incalculable benefit in lessening the severity of crashes. The road toll statistics show cars into trees make up so large a number of the fatalities and serious injuries of the overall road toll, in turn costing our communities year after year, that the argument for these is self evident.
We have already begun to see these constructed in the region, but this is only the beginning. Centre barriers are the next step in reducing the risk of head on collisions.
But centre barriers are expensive, albeit cheaper than duplication, and require periodic passing lanes if they are not to become traffic impasses over long distances. This means their implementation on some of the key roads in our region has been slow. The costs to human life argue this needs to be a staged plan with a demonstrable roll-out not a distant wishlist. Some people may not like the look of them but they are better than roadside memorials.