DRIVERS be warned! From Friday, December 16, a 12km section of the Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road, south from Korumburra to Kongwak, has been reduced to 80km/h.
And it’s not just the bends.
The entire roadway between Korumburra and Kongwak has been affected.
But VicRoads has urged those who have vented their displeasure on Facebook to chill out… it only adds 30 seconds to your travel time, they say.
The busy route between West Gippsland and the coast is one of four roads in the South Gippsland region to be affected as part of a ‘Safer Speeds on Gippsland Roads’ initiative adopted by VicRoads.
“VicRoads is implementing a safer travel speed of 80km/h on four high-speed roads in the South Gippsland area,” said VicRoads Eastern Region Regional Director, Scott Lawrence.
“These roads have a history of devastating trauma for our community.
“The road safety initiative is supported by evidence-based research with the aim of reducing the number of serious injuries and lives lost.
“The project involves the installation of new guide posts, warning signs and alignment markers along these roads and the adoption of a safer travel speed.”
The targeted roads are:
• Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road (Korumburra to Kongwak): on this 12 kilometre section reducing 100km/h down to 80km/h, implemented Friday, December 16, 2016
• Boolarra South-Mirboo North Road: formerly 100km/h now 80km/h, implemented Tuesday, December 6, 2016
• Meeniyan-Mirboo North Road: currently 100km/h, scheduled for 80km/h from Thursday, December 22, 2016
• Mirboo North-Trafalgar Road: formerly 100km/h now 80km/h, implemented 15 December 2016
“The installation of the new guide posts, warning signs and alignment markers along these roads is scheduled for early 2017,” according to Mr Lawrence.
He said speed is the major causal factor in a quarter of serious injury crashes and lives lost on Gippsland roads, but evidence-based research speaks volumes.
“If we drive at a safer speed, travel times increase minimally and the chances of serious injuries or being killed decrease dramatically.
“Replacing the 100km/h speed limits with an 80km/h limit reduces the chances of serious injury or death by 60 per cent, but the increase in travel time is minimal,” he said.
VicRoads estimates travel time increases as follows:
• Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road: (Korumburra to Kongwak) Change in travel time increased by just over 30 seconds
• Boolarra South-Mirboo North Road: Change in travel time increased by just over 40 seconds
• Meeniyan-Mirboo North Road: (Mirboo North to Dumbalk) Change in travel time increased by just over 40 seconds
• Mirboo North-Trafalgar Road: Change in travel time increased by just over 70 seconds
“Since 1994, there have been 310 crashes along these roads, in which 11 people lost their lives and 126 were seriously injured. Another 297 people sustained other injuries and 223 escaped injury,” Mr Lawrence said.
“On Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road there have been 160 crashes since 1994, with two lives lost and 63 seriously injured. This road has 65 curves – 24 of those are deemed high to medium risk.
“Each death or serious injury on our roads has far reaching effects.
“The implementation of safer travel speeds is a vital component of the Victorian Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan: Towards Zero 2016-2020, which has a five-year goal of reducing road-related deaths by 20 per cent and serious injuries by 15 per cent.”
A total of 21,000 people read the post put up by the Sentinel-Times last week, prompting 63 shares and hundreds of comments.
Here’s a selection:
• Cheaper and easier to put up new speed signs than to fix the road properly. Stupid decision VicRoads.
• I had no fewer than two cars up the rear end of my car coming to work through your new 80km zones from Korumburra to Kongwak. How soon do you think it will be until one of these impatient drivers overtakes me on double lines or another unsafe location causing an accident?
• One of the easiest, straightest roads in the area. No reason for it to be anything less than 100 kmh.
• Will cause more problems than it fixes.
• That road is better than the piece of s— they call a highway between Korumburra and Leongatha
• Pathetic, how about they fix the road rather than drop the limit, the road is stuffed
• Drove there yesterday, did 80kms, had people tailgating and overtaking. I think it’s more frustrating for some drivers and nerve wracking for drivers doing the speed limit.
• I’m all for people’s safety first, no matter what the inconvenience. But this seems like a bandaid fix without a comprehensive investigation.
• Crazy move would accept the reduced limit around the bends but not the whole way.
But wasn’t all negative:
• It’s not the road that causes accidents, it’s the speeding and impatient drivers. It will take a maximum of two minutes longer, wake up drivers.
• Can’t believe how bad your maths is! 10 minutes longer over the old 100kph, 25km stretch I don’t think so! Sensationalist rubbish! 4 min MAX.