[Vic] Fatal crash kills 7 -blamed on design of intersection

 
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
A fatal road collision near Donald, Victoria, which killed 7, has been blamed on the poor design of the intersection.  This is of interest to rail people in as much as some level crossings are poorly designed, such as the Gerogery one.

If the intersection of Borung Road and the Sunraysia Highway had been a conventional 90 degree T intersection, it would have a a low accident rate.

However, on aerial photo showed that the intesection was Y-shaped, with the main road taking the curve and the minor road taking the straight.

A motorist arriving at the intersection from the minor road (Borung Road) and seeing the road stretching out ahead, could easily overlook the STOP sign, and have a SPAD, resulting in a nasty head on collision.

The writer admits to doing a SPAD in his younger days when he looked at the green traffic lights of the NEXT intersection, and overlooked the RED lights of the nearest intersection.

Apparently the locals have been calling for a long time for something to be done about this intersection, such as converting it into a conventional T-intersection.  There has been a BLACK SPOT program for twenty years or more, and it is not known why this black spot has been overlooked.

Looking at the maps in http://www.street-directory.com.au the configuration of the Borung Road junction does not quite match the description above. The junction is near a railway line about 5km northwest of Donald. The road intersection looks more like a T-intersection than a Y-intersection. Is this the right place?

BTW, the junction of the St Arnaud Road & Sunraysia Hwy furthur to the east looks more like the Y-intersection in question.

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  V511 Locomotive Driver

7 killed on the road in one accident - the same as Waterfall in 2003. For road, there is no Royal Commission, no 120+ recommendations, no $1,000's+ cost to the road industry and no recommendations to reduce the risk so that it will never happen again anywhere on the road network.

Is there a level playing field between road and rail?
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Another intersection that looks like the Y-intersection in the report is where Lah Angle Road joins Borung Hwy,  This is even further west of Donald.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I think you'll find the accident occured at the intersection of Borung Hwy (C239) and the Donald-Swan Hill Rd (C261) which is North East of Donald.
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Donald,+victoria,+australia&ie=UTF8&z=14&ll=-36.295066,143.01796&spn=0.021514,0.065918&t=h&om=0

V511, you find there will be a Coroners Inquest into the incident, and recomemdations will most likely be made.

And you are correct ..... There is NO level playing field
  Byrnesy Minister for Railways

Location: Gone
I've driven through that intersection myself- it is a rather unusual design, and does require one to be even more vigilent and extra careful than normal. Having said that, neither the Sunraysia or Borung Highways are as busy as many others (particularly not the Borung).


With regards to poorly designed level crossings- if anyone is ever in Melbourne and they want to see a poorly designed level crossing, go to Reservoir station on the Epping line. The expression 'dog's breakfast' was surely coined with that crossing in mind. Wink
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
I think you'll find the accident occured at the intersection of Borung Hwy (C239) and the Donald-Swan Hill Rd (C261) which is North East of Donald.
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Donald,+victoria,+australia&ie=UTF8&z=14&ll=-36.295066,143.01796&spn=0.021514,0.065918&t=h&om=0
"Pressman"


The intersection described above actually has three intersections about 100m apart, one of which matches the Y-junction of the accident site.

However, the Lah Angle Road/Sunraysia Hwy intersection also matches the said Y-intersection, although this is harder to read on Google Map as Lah Angle Road is not highlighted enough.

Since Lah Angle Road is a short cut they bypasses the town at the right angle of its triangle, Lah Angle might be the preferred route for going from the Sunraysia Highway to the Henty Highway.

More research is needed to resolve the predicament of being unsure which accident site is which.
  standard_gauge Dr Beeching

Location: Outside the toilet, waiting for Della Bosca to come out !!
Why is this in the rail forum?

I tend to question, why the intersection never had any trouble until now?
You can do alot of things, spend billions on road yet still there will be accidents.

One thing almost no one pointed out , "driver behavour", ie careless driving. Why do we make car and car licence so easy to get that anyone can drive??  as easy as getting it free from a potato chips bag.

Why do we allow careless driver/bad drivers on the street with little or no restriction? is it our responsibility to maximize profit of Ford, Holden and Toyota? and fill our ERs with accident victims?
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Why is this in the rail forum?

I tend to question, why the intersection never had any trouble until now?
You can do alot of things, spend billions on road yet still there will be accidents.

One thing almost no one pointed out , "driver behavour", ie careless driving. Why do we make car and car licence so easy to get that anyone can drive??  as easy as getting it free from a potato chips bag.

Why do we allow careless driver/bad drivers on the street with little or no restriction? is it our responsibility to maximize profit of Ford, Holden and Toyota? and fill our ERs with accident victims?
"james_c"


The driver Purdue did a SPAD while driving south on the Swan Hill to Donald Road at the intersection with Borung Highway. (Pressman seems to have found the correct intersection)

Like the nasty level crossing collision at Gerogery in 1999, the configuration of the intersection contributed to the accident, though in different.

Purdue, while a local and perhaps familiar with this intersection, had been driving since dawn and may have been tired (rather than careless).

After the 1999 accident, the Gerogery level crossing was fitted with 6 or 6 warning signs, and one flashing signal, warning drivers of the impending dog leg and xing.  It would be hard not to notice?

Was the Borung-Swan Hill intersection fitted with anything extra?

Was the Give Way sign of an extra large size?

Was there a "Give Way Sign Ahead" sign? There are often This and That Ahead sign. If there was, had any one bothered to cut down branches that obscured it? (I have just noticed an "Intersection Ahead Over Crest" sign obscured by branches which I shall fix tomorrow).

Could this intersection have been fitted with a pair of flashing yellow lights that are now common for "blind" intersections, defined broadly?

Were there rumble strips?

Notwithstanding the above very low cost suggestions, conversion of this intersection from a hazardous Y-type to the standard and generally safe T-type "only" requires about 100m of two lane road.  Compared to the $10m bridge at Gerogery, this ought to cost next to nothing.

The authorities hadn't done anything about this intersection, despite complaints, because there hadn't in practice been any accidents (which would exclude near misses not reported to the police).
Was a CCTV fitted to record such near misses?

The authorities should institute a program of converting Y-intersections to T-intersections. Unfortunately, the VRTA only thinks in terms of 10km of multilane freeway, not 100m long strips of road.
What politician wishes to open 100m of tar?
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Well said James_c driver behaviour would have to be the biggest killer on our roads. Too many leadfoot's assume they can stop in time even at speed, the statistics prove otherwise.

No one today drives for the conditions, if it is raining you should slow down buy how many do, I have even seen twit's in thick fog speeding to get somewhere, they will get somewhere alright the nearest emergency dept of a hospital, but you cant tell them anything they know everything about driving or so they think!

Bad driver behaviour should get you off the road and you have to repass your drivers test or walk! it's simple enough! Very Happy
  supertj Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Dam 7....Killed in that...Horrific

Cheers
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Yes I totally agree james_c.
Driver behaviour is the cause of so many tragic accidents.
awsgc24, you can puts signs up everywhere, but sadly so many drivers only ever notice one sign .... the one with 100 in the circle ..... and so many miss read it to say 120 or 130
{Classic example is the single lane sections of the Hume Hwy in southern NSW ..... fixed speed cameras....... as you approach there are no less than 7, yes Seven speed limit signs within one kilometre of the camera, Yet the cameras make enough money to pay for themselves many times over ....... People just do not read or notice the signs!}
The intersection where this accident happened is layed out as free flowing.
I have driven through the turn with ease at the ruling speed limit (100kph)

David Peters sums it up with his comment
driver behaviour would have to be the biggest killer on our roads.

Sadly far too many of Australia's drivers live by the "It'll never happen to me" attitude and many die from it too
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney


You can put signs up everywhere, but sadly so many drivers only ever notice one sign .... the one with 100 in the circle ..... and so many miss read it to say 120 or 130

"Pressman"


Not having to worry about reading signs is the best reason for replacing Y-intersections here and elsewhere with T-intersections.  Drivers cannot then ignore the extra bend to line up 90 degrees to the through road, and then the 90 degree turn into that road which is inherently limited to say 40km/h.

BTW, there is no particular or necessary reason for driver Purdue to be exceeding the speed limit.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I totally agree awsgc24.
There would be countless intersections that could be layed out to make them safer
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
I think you'll find the accident occured at the intersection of Borung Hwy (C239) and the Donald-Swan Hill Rd (C261) which is North East of Donald.
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Donald,+victoria,+australia&ie=UTF8&z=14&ll=-36.295066,143.01796&spn=0.021514,0.065918&t=h&om=0

"Pressman"


Unlike the railways, which record track and signal alterations in their Weekly Notices, so that you can research when things happened, the Roads Authorities do not seem to have an equivalent of the WN.

So lets work backwards and suppose what happened with the history of this intersection.

Originally there was no Borung Highway.

The Donald-Swan Hill Road went south-north through the site.

A Donald-Ballarat? Road branched off to the east at "almost" 90 degrees.

When the Borung Highway was defined, it had a 90 turn in it.  Since this is a standard T-intersection it has no particular safety issues.

Presumably the Borung Highway had more traffic that the Donald-Swan Hill Road, so this 90 turn turn became a nuisance.

So the Road Authority put in a curve of about 100-200m radius to eliminate the sharp 90 turn, thus creating the death trap (black spot) Y-intersection we have today!!!!  It would not have taken that much to have redesigned the junction with no Y-intersection.

The engineers responsible have probably long since retired.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Also remember many roads would have been designed and layed out when the FJ was king and speeds and traffic volumes where much much lower than today
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Also remember many roads would have been designed and layed out when the FJ was king and speeds and traffic volumes where much much lower than today
"Pressman"


They go back even further.

Many roads follow property boundaries that are often straight lines.  They might thus date to the 1840s. Road intersections are the way they are because that is where property boundaries meet.

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