JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Fatality on highway puts safety in spotlight

Police document the scene of a head on collision on the Barton highway between Hall and Murrumbateman on Friday.

Police document the scene of a head on collision on the Barton highway between Hall and Murrumbateman on Friday. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Friday's two-car accident on the Barton Highway, which resulted in the death of a 27-year-old from Holt, has again highlighted the need to improve safety on the 38-kilometre road connecting Canberra and Yass.

NRMA regional director Alan Evans said the motoring group had been advocating for more duplication of the road but little had happened to improve it.

''We've argued for some time that, given that heavy traffic, it's got to be a candidate for more duplication,'' he said. ''Many of the curves are not well engineered. They've done a lot on the Yass side of Murrumbateman but there's more needed to be done.''

Between 2006 and 2010, there were 132 recorded crashes on the highway, with 82 people injured or killed. A total of 32 per cent were injury crashes and 5 per cent were fatal.

Mr Evans said while the highway has high traffic in morning and afternoon peak times, it still falls short of meeting the amount of sustained traffic over a 24-hour period for the government to consider making it a dual carriageway.

''But there's numerous things you can do in the interim,'' he said.

''Have wire rope barriers down the centre on bad corners [and] widen corners.''

NSW Roads and Maritime Services has done the consultation and prepared reports for the future duplication of the highway but there is no indication of when it will happen.

Mr Evans expressed frustration at the reduced budget to undertake such upgrades.

''They reduced the funding for roads last budget, so that doesn't bode well for the future,'' he said.

''Our problem is we only get a small portion of the fuel excise we pay every time we fill up and it goes to the federal government.

''That's about $15 billion a year and only $3 billion a year comes back for roads … That's the part that annoys us. If we spent $15 billion on roads each year, it would certainly give Australia a far better road network.''

21 comments

  • Put simply there is nothing wrong with the road, not a damn thing, its like black spots, there are no black spots, sadly road deaths all evolve around driver actions or inactions and as much as I admire Mr Evans that sadly is a hard nosed, cold fact of life.

    Commenter
    Nitro Gangster
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 9:16AM
    • Barton Highway death trap in the spotlight...more like Barton Highway death trap issue swept under the floor mat or clearly viewed for verbal action in the Goverments rear view mirror...again.

      Commenter
      dusty
      Location
      Barton hwy death trap
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 7:46PM
  • Sorry Nitro - have to disagree with you. The Barton Highway is no longer able to support the volume of traffic it carries. The fact that cars had to be diverted via Sutton to avoid the crash area signals something is flawed.

    I think you will find the road still follows a pre-car route in many places and needs to be straighter, smoother and divided.

    Commenter
    Outraged of Palmerston
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 9:44AM
    • Sorry outraged, it's called slow down and drive to the conditions.

      Commenter
      Nitro Gangster
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 10:48AM
    • Well it seems that too many regular users of the Barton Highway are concerned that it is being ignored at the expense of safety. If we are to drive to the conditions then perhaps the conditions need to reflect the 21st century not the 19th.

      Commenter
      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 1:56PM
  • I would question as to why they start an overtaking lane on a bend. This would only encourage a person behind a slower vehicle to have a go. You will remember a crash a while back on kings hwy between bungendore and braidwood (photo was in Canberra times) a similar head on exactly where an over taking lane commenced on a bend.

    Commenter
    stoney
    Date and time
    February 11, 2013, 10:09AM
    • Driving out to Yass yesterday morning I was driving extra careful with the thoughts of the accident fresh in my mind. I have seen so many impatient drivers attempting to perform overtaking maneuvers in spots where it wasn't possible. Preventing road deaths is not a simple nor inexpensive fix. It is a combination of turning the road into a dual carriageway and continued driver education. Considering the volume of traffic and the fact that it is a major link from Canberra to the Hume highway, then it should be a candidate for an upgraded road. However the NSW government be it Labor or the Lib have always had their eyes fixed firmly on fixing the Pacific Highway north of Sydney whilst the south suffers.

      Commenter
      Ben
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      February 11, 2013, 10:20AM
      • Nitro is correct in that it is the poor skills or inappropriate actions of drivers that cause the crashes. However, as a major road the Barton Highway is frustrating because of the amount of slow traffic and lack of overtaking opportunities. It may not need to be dual carriageway but it should be dual lane.

        Commenter
        Phill
        Date and time
        February 11, 2013, 10:50AM
        • Can we please direct blame on the impetuous fool driving on the wrong side of the road and not the surface on which it happened?

          Commenter
          JRD
          Date and time
          February 11, 2013, 10:52AM
          • Why not put the blame on the gunna's and nimby's of the area surrounding the highway who have battled against or keep finding silly reasons not to have it in their back yard.
            The government love it while they are bluing with each other, oh, more studies, you would think it was the ACT government involved and not NSW.

            Commenter
            Nitro Gangster
            Location
            ACT
            Date and time
            February 11, 2013, 5:51PM

        More comments

        Comments are now closed
        Featured advertisers

        Special offers

        Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo