Victoria is the pothole state.
Brooke hit a pothole on the neglected Bacchus Marsh-Gisborne road and did $1600 damage to her car. Dave hit one on the Bass Highway and did $2300 damage. Mrs Maggs hit one on the Rupanyup Road and did $1400 damage to her car.
VicRoads refused to compensate Brooke, Dave or Mrs Maggs, claiming the roads were adequately maintained. Clearly our roads are not adequately maintained. If they damage cars they damage emergency vehicles too and are especially dangerous for motorcycle and scooter riders.
Potholes cause serious crashes. That means TAC third party insurance and private insurers are paying for VicRoads’ negligence. That means higher premiums for road users.
The road neglect is statewide. Resources are wasted. It is obvious, particularly on roadsides. Signs state the obvious. Two signs when one would do. Too many signs, often distracting and confusing road users.
Two poles when one would do. Signs would be more visible and less easily damaged if they were bolted to a bridge or existing poles.
And barriers to protect trees that should not be planted on some roadsides or medians. Life-saving run-off areas denied to road users because those areas are littered with fences, poles and trees.
The Auditor-General should look at the purchase, installation, repair and replacement costs of signs and barriers across Victoria.
Lawyers should look at compensation cases to get VicRoads to accept their duty of care for road users.
The savings would mean safer road surfaces and fewer damaged vehicles and reduced road trauma.
Damien Codognotto, Independent Riders Group, Melbourne