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[VIC] Centre line WRB on Melba Highway - anybody nearby?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by robsalvv, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Came across centre line WRB's on the Melba Highway on the weekend, between Yea and Yarra glen. These are unlike the ones on Sth Gippy highway which at least exist in their own median area separating two main roads and direction of travel.

    The WRB's in this case define the edge of the lane.

    Is there anyone living close by that could take pics of the WRB's at dusk and at night, or better yet, take some video footage at those times, ideally on a bike.

    The media releases and information I have found about the WRB's state that rider's concerns have been taken into account by the padding placed at the bottom of each post... I'm not convinced.

    Granted they are on a straight section of road and a rider would need to seriously mess up to get tangled in them, but still, a solid centre barrier separating a known headon crash risk location would be far better for rider safety.

    I'd appreciate if someone could take the pics or vid footage.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. Rob,

    we've also recently had WRB installed on the Bellarine Highway which sound very similar (without any padding). I'll try and get some pics for you of those too.
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  3. I do a lot of safety reviews at work and one of the main things drummed into us is that is should be a team approach to ensure that you capture all the issues. This seems to be a classic case of somebody identifying a hazard, and implementing a control without a full assessment of the actual risk, and with key stakeholders missing from the process.
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  4. Yep, no key stakeholders consulted, but the padding was added for the rider's safety... where's the testing to show that it will help riders?

    The TAC's media release on the topic says there is a formal evaluation process. I've asked them more information about it.

    Radical road safety initiative for country Victorian highway

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  5. wheres that NZ study in regards to motorcycles and WRB? You know the one that said its actually more freaking dangerous than other options.
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  6. Yeah I saw these when up there last week and was thinking ah bugger....
  7. Several years ago, back when WRB opposition was at it's largest, it was rider organisations and anti-WRB activists that were recommending and demanding the usage of padding on the WRB posts as requirement to protect riders.
    But not better for other vehicles and their occupants. Compare motorcycles vs all other vehicles for head-on crashes on this stretch of road - which one is trying to be protected?
  8. but you can't put a control in place to protect one group of road users that creates a hazard for another group!
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  9. I doubt that is what drove the padding in this case. Now we talk about products like moto.tub or other coverings over WRB's to provide a smooth snag free sliding surface.

    You might be wrong on this. (Red flag to a bull if I know you) How does a solid barrier, in an application like that pictured, provide a greater danger than WRB's? A solid barrier would provide a shallow angle impact in the application above so can't imagine how it would be more dangerous to other road users. Solid barriers are more expensive and take up more room than WRB's, hence authorities going to the lower initial cost barrier system like WRB's.
  10. In speaking with Vicroads today, they confirmed that the implementation now has line markings providing some delineated space between the lane edge and the WRB. When I rode through there last weekend, the WRB was the defined edge of the lane and visually this gave me the willies.

    Obviously there have been cross over crashes on this road, most likely due to fatigue, which is not surprising for a large country highway. Similar treatments in NZ have reduced headons by huge amounts... riders report increased vigilance in these areas and so even their crash rates drop. As far as the stats are concerned, these are a winning formula.
  11. #12 trd2000, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    isnt the worst case scenario where you go into the barrier upright and get tangled up in the top??.... no padding there.


    oh yeah.... going in upright will result in serious injury regardless of speed. "regardless of speed"! imagine that.... a concept like that would blow vicroads' minds.


    you might say a rider wont get tied up in the fence on a straigt road, but what about if someone pulls out from the break down lane? it's quite passible you'd move to that side to try and get away and end up going into the fence upright.
  12. a little like invading iraq is a winning formula. oil companies win. America gets to keep cheap fuel. 150,000 iraqi civilians die and ISIS takes off....... in this case motorcyclists are the iraqi's. but it sure is a winning formula if your a cager!
  13. As you know, a solid barrier absorbs far less impact than a more flexible WRB. Thus, the inertia on car occupants is less resulting in lower physical trauma.
    If i remember correctly, for shallow impacts, it's also be shown that the WRB's stop vehicles sooner rather than a solid barrier that more harshly bounces the vehicle across to the other side (and generally into trees etc.)
  14. There are numerous similar applications in NSW, but all those that I have seen consisted of solid concrete barriers.

    Wire Rope Safety barriers are actually designed to 'give' and allow the errant vehicle to stretch the barrier as it is decelerated, which would put any vehicle in this situation into the other oncoming lane. Is it actually a WRSP or a solid/non-giving wire rope barrier here? If not, then what is the safety impact of a vehicle hitting it, will it be contained back into the left lane?

    This is a high risk 'roo area; where is the escape for a bike faced with a roo or the wire?
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  15. Good point. One to make with the "formal" evaluation. That was my concern when changing in to the left lane to overtake a slower vehicle. Any errant move from them while I was beside them wouldn't leave me much place to go. At the time the oncoming traffic was zero, so I had a whole other side of the road as an escape route if the WRB's hadn't been there.


    It all depends on the crash type. With most cars having ABS, it's less of a billiard ball scenario than times past. A car avoiding a wombat and jumping on the anchors isn't likely to spin or slide on all four wheels. The glancing blow will keep them on their side of the road and probably slide along the barrier.

    Excellent point. There were definite signs of roadkill on that road.

    All good grist for the ensuing discussion!
  16. Drop by YouTube and see a few recent Bathurst videos where the are heading through the twists at the top of the mountain at around 80-120 kph and see how quickly they get flung and bounced to the other side from a glancing blow against the concrete walls.
  17. Ok, so I did, pulled one up at random (second on the list 15 min video, titled bathurst crashes) and after 5 minutes of crashes and mostly seeing some really good examples of sliding and glancing barrier crashes, was wondering whether we're sawing saw dust now. Some classic examples at 1' and 1'44". But yes, there were some spectacular billiard ball examples too - but I figure that was more to do with the racing circumstances / speed / corner dynamics - didn't think it was particularly applicable to the Melba highway, although makes your case if the impact is significant.

    And if I can be cheeky, I didn't notice any WRB around the track...

  18. #20 trd2000, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
    on roadkill... the stats for NZ which safety numbskulls like to quote are pretty heavily skewed. of their 170km of wire rope barriers, 90km is on the expressway south of Auckland. It's a straight, mostly dual, seperated carriageway section of road, and the studies ive read compare figures for the old road, with the construction period of the new road... construction went for years because the Maori claimed there was a taniwha (mystical mythical creature - try spelling that right) living in the middle of the construction zone, but they could move it for $50k.... but it might come back. Anyway during construction there was a reduced speed limit, and OFTEN stationary traffic.

    anyway while no mystical creatures got slain... I hit one of two animals i've ever hit in my life, (which, coming from tassie is a bit of an achievement cause one of my mates hit 20+ in one night alone.).. A dog came through the WRB from the opposite side of the road. I didn't see it cause of oncoming lights.... which is yet another problem with ripping out the shrubbery centrelines and lining our road with center skidpan and steel spaghetti.

    I think the "studies" claiming cheesecutters are statistically safer are somewhat flawed. Ive seen numerical analysis of both australia and NZ claiming that per km WRB's are safer, but they completely ignore the fact that WRB's are being installed largely in places you'd have to be absolutely spastic, asleep, or horribly unlucky to crash. some places they're effective (like on the way up the cost from Wellington) because they phisically prevent frustrated drivers attempting to overtake when they shouldn't, but a concrete wall would do exactly the same job... so would a line of plastic guideposts. barrier philosophy has changed markedly, barriers used to be put in dangerous locations.... so of course older barriers continue to be involved in more serious incidents than WRB's, they're where the action is. So far i havent seen these facts addressed at all in any of the cheesecutter studies..... but i have read they dont like us using the term cheesecutters, I'm sure it makes them harder to sell to the largely ignorant and uncaring public.

    I understand that "on a cheesecutter the wire does the cutting" but everything is relative, most cheese is cut with knives, which are just chunks of steel which forces its way through the cheese, and if you throw the cheese card enough at a thin piece of steel, like a post, it will cut..... the same force has to go through a smaller area than say, if you throw the cheese at a wall, or miss the 20m wide wall and let it bounce along the grass losing speed till it PERHAPS hits the 1m wide tree. (there's a lot higher chance you'll hit something if it takes up a larger cross section of your run off area) so its completely fcuking stupid, and assists in the WRB sales pitch if you allow them to get away with pedantic technicalities.. particularly if you buy in enough to go "correcting" other bikers. It looks like a cheesecutter, ANY of it will cut you up if you hit it hard enough (which according to MUARC is 30kph - apparrently)... cheesecutter seems to be a fairly appropriate description.
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