An article appeared in the Irish Times in 2007 about the danger that the wire safety barriers cause to motorcyclists. Back then, some countries were considering removing these types of barriers from their roads. VicRoads, in the meantime, has razed vegetation and mulched wildlife recently in order to install these barriers with their dubious safety record. (See ) No doubt someone is making a lot of money out of selling them to VicRoads. But that's no justification for clearing vegetation and injuring, killing and orphaning protected wildlife. All the less so if they may need to remove the barriers in the future because they are unsafe. The illustration in the article is taken from the reporting a 2017 incident in Vernon Texas where a motorcyclist received near-fatal injuries on this kind of barrier. This article is based on part of one called , by Eve Kelly of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
Whilst VicRoads claim that it was the CFA who recommended ALL of the vegetation to be cleared because it was a fire hazard, we find the CFA has also warned against these types of barriers. It is clear that if the median strip is not replanted and maintained, and grows weeds and grass, this also presents as a fire hazard. Along with the addition of wire barriers, these conditions create more hazards for motorists and will not make the roads safer.
“Mr Chapman warned that if a grass fire breaks out along a highway, motorists will have “nowhere to go”.
One community member wrote on FB (24/4/18): “Safety barriers? Really? Making what safe? Are they claiming that cars can’t drive through those horrible steel rails? To me they are simply making a mess, ruining habitat, making everything look ugly and fenced off. Seems like a massive waste of time, money and resources. Fix Eastbourne and Jetty Rds instead of this.”
And another: “Vic roads are a joke this has been the longest project for so little work done since last year. Trees were to be planted already but nothing has been done what so ever, its like driving down a tunnel with all the barriers on both sides of the road , night time driving must be hell with on coming traffic blinding the cars on the other side of the road. The whole area looks like a bomb has been dropped on it.”
Brenda Marmion of Crystal Ocean Wildlife Shelter wrote: “Travelling to Mornington on Sunday where vegetation completely cleared were two corpses of juvenile kangaroo joeys”