NSW to upgrade breakdown lanes on major routes

Minister for Roads and Ports in NSW Duncan Gay announced that upgraded breakdown lanes on 900 kilometres of the state’s major highways will be constructed to provide a minimum width of 2.5 metres. The standard for new highway construction is three metres.

This announcement came after debate in NSW State Parliament initiated by a 23,000 signature petition organised by Peter Frazer’s daughter Sarah, aged 23, and 40 year old tow truck driver Geoff Clark were struck and killed by a vehicle on the Hume Highway at Ben Dooley Hill just south of Mittagong in February this year. Sarah’s car had broken down and was stranded protruding into a 110 km/hr lane despite being hard up against the guardrail.

Gay said that consultation with the NRMA, Work Cover, Police, RMS and Transport for NSW and a review of 2000 kilometres of the state’s major highways revealed that 900 kilometres had no or insufficient space to get broken down vehicles off the road.

The Minister also announced that incident response vehicles such as tow trucks and NRMA patrol vehicles will be legally allowed to use breakdown lanes in order to reach stranded motorists as well as being able to place safety markers behind their vehicles to warn other motorists that they are approaching a stationary vehicle.

The section of the Hume Highway where the fatalities occurred will be reduced to two traffic lanes when the current third “slow vehicle” lane is converted to a breakdown lane. This work on this 1.5 kilometre section is expected to be completed prior to this year’s Christmas holidays.

NRMA Group CEO Tony Stuart said breakdown safety was a serious safety issue for both incident responders and motorists.

“Breakdown safety potentially affects every person who travels on our roads,” he said. “We are pleased that the NSW Government has announced several changes designed to increase the safety of motorists and incident responders such as tow truck drivers and NRMA roadside patrols while they are doing their job.”

Leave a Reply

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend