A proposal to cut the speed limit on the South Eastern Freeway in South Australia for heavy vehicles from 60km/h to 40km/h has been ruled out by state Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis.
At an industry roundtable this week, the government said that modelling has shown that peak hour queuing under such a measure would block access to the existing lower arrester beds, creating intersection congestion and additional safety risks, with the increased potential for side-swipe and rear-end crashes.
Industry representatives have been discussing solutions since August after truck collided with seven cars and a bus at the Cross Rd-Portrush Rd intersection in July.
A third arrester bed is also now being considered, but Koutsantonis said this week that it wasn’t a guarantee to fix the safety issues on the freeway.
“We already have two arrester beds that out of control trucks are driving right by,” he said.
“The idea that a third will solve the solution, ignores the fact that they’ve passed two already.”
He said the second convention of the roundtable has been able to narrow down nearly 300 suggestions to improve the safety of the freeway to 25.
“We’ve asked the people at the roundtable to go away over the next five to 10 days, to add more solutions or questions to those 25 bodies of work.
“We will then do a lot more modelling and cost those 25 pieces of work and present them to the roundtable in December for a final discussion about the proposed method.”
25 options for SE Freeway
Improve alerts and communications to heavy vehicle drivers prior to reaching freeway descent
Investigate incentives to encourage the take up of newer safer heavy vehicles and technologies
Investigative ways to recognise and encourage better industry practices to improve vehicle and driver safety
Road User Behaviour, Compliance, Enforcement
National licensing and driver training improvements
Local South Australian Department licensing and driver training improvements
New heavy vehicle permit/gazettal to use the freeway descent.
Penalty changes – Examine removal of penalties for heavy vehicles correctly using the safety ramps; penalties for not using a safety ramp
Work with the NHVR to review the Chain of Responsibility processes and legislation to determine if freeway descent specific measures can be added
Increased heavy vehicle inspection and compliance regimes
Education and awareness campaign
Enhanced DIT and NHVR incident responder powers and exemptions from the Australian Road
Rules to enhance on-site safety for incident responders and other road users
Support enhanced NHVR compliance capability through potential specific powers under the
Expiation of Offences Act.
Speed and Traffic Management
Reduced truck speed in left lane (40km/h) between Crafers and tollgate Modelling shows that peak hour queuing will block access to the existing lower safety ramp creating additional safety risk and intersection congestion and potential side swipe/rear end crash risk
Engage low gear speed zone prior to Crafers. Limited extent and lanes between Stirling interchange and Crafers interchange likely to result in congestion prior to descent
Safety cameras to support speed monitoring and detection where reduced speeds introduced
Revised freeway signage.
Third safety ramp – two main locations either between Mt Osmond and tollgate or at tollgate
Emergency stopping signals in advance of the Cross Rd/Portrush Rd/Glen Osmond Rd intersection
Relocate Cross Road stop line by 30m to create a clear area at the intersection
Mandatory stopping station prior to and/or along the descent
Improved road and incident management systems
Detection technology and systems, coupled with advance warning systems to identify errant vehicles and trigger incident response
Road geometry realignment
Freight bypass – to remove some road freight heavy vehicles from the freeway.
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