The Pacific Hwy south of the Hungry Head turnoff.
The Pacific Hwy south of the Hungry Head turnoff. Trevor Veale

Rope barriers for hwy

THE stretch of Pacific Hwy between Nambucca Heads and Urunga that has claimed so many lives is under assessment by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) seeking ways to improve safety.

Wire rope barriers are clearly the RMS's safety measure of choice for this stretch of road.

RMS believes that further installation of these barriers will help to prevent further tragedies like the one that occurred at Urunga on January 8.

Installation of wire rope safety barriers along 1km near the Oyster Creek Road intersection has been completed, with further installations to be done later this year.

An RMS spokesperson said: "Wire rope barriers are proven to be particularly successful at minimising vehicle damage in a crash, reducing injuries and allowing the driver to regain control of their vehicle, while stopping the vehicle from leaving the road or crossing into oncoming traffic."

The safety work is part of the NSW and Federal governments' $3.6 billion commitment to upgrade the Pacific Hwy.

Motorcycle lobby groups have criticised the use of wire rope barriers as they claim they put riders in accidents in serious danger.

Motorcyclists claim other barriers, such as those filled with water, would be more effective but RMS refutes those claims

"Research from the University of NSW Transport and Road Safety Research has proven wire rope barriers are no more and are often less dangerous to riders and their passengers involved in a motorcycle crash than alternative barrier types."

Other safety measures are being planned for the dangerous stretch of road.

The decommissioned fixed speed camera at Urunga is being placed back into warning mode.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety is conducting a detailed assessment of a longer section of the Pacific Hwy around Urunga to determine suitability for point-to-point enforcement for heavy vehicles.

In addition, a number of safety improvements are planned for Urunga.

This will address existing road safety risks and include a speed zone review, a review and update of signs on approaches to Urunga and a review of advisory signs in the township.

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