No one wants more deaths on the road.
The road toll numbers represent people, and in many cases it could have been you or me.
However safely we might drive, we’re still vulnerable to the decisions made by other road users.
So are our family and friends.
It barely needs saying that it’s good news the road toll dropped dramatically in 2018.
Overall 214 people died on Victoria’s roads.
That’s 45 fewer than in 2017, and 44 fewer than the previous five year average.
In rural Victoria there were 47 fewer deaths in 2018 compared to 2017. In 2018, 109 people died on rural roads, compared to 156 in 2017.
That’s a drop of 30 percent.
The state government has attributed this to life saving infrastructure, such as wire rope barriers.
Many of those who oppose the barriers have jumped in to say there’s no proof that is what has caused the drop.
Often they have tragic stories of friends and family who have died in a crash involving the barriers.
And, if you have lost someone in a crash that involved wire rope barriers, I am deeply sorry. That is a tragedy.
But, we need to take the emotion out of the debate.
People’s lives are at stake.
If wire rope barriers save lives, we should keep them. If they’re dangerous, we should remove them.
But it’s not a decision that should be based on how you or I feel. And it would be deplorable to see it used for political leverage.
It’s irresponsible to frame a debate like this around personal stories.
VicRoads has no reason to lie about the evidence in favour of wire rope barriers. They’re not monsters, so it’s safe to assume they want a low road toll. So do politicians, let’s give them that much.
So do you and I.
So, let’s not lobby based on feelings. Let’s wait to see what the next five years show.
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