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Barton Highway is the most dangerous road in Australia

By Skidbladnir - 10 December 2007 23

According to the ABC Online, the Barton Highway is the most dangerous piece of highway in the country.
This website here has the “risk map” on which the article bases its claims, and the rest of the site has how they calculate it.

According to the above map, any major highway out of Canberra to Sydney or Melbourne puts you at high or medium-high risk, but it neglects to mention the Monaro highway out past Michelago to Cooma.
In the winter it seems more like a mass-cannonball-run, but they don’t show any stats on it.

Anyone up for a little cross-border\federal negotiation on roads?

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Barton Highway is the most dangerous road in Australia
VYBerlinaV8 10:33 am 11 Dec 07

“I know most people speed to overtake but if you think back to when we got our licenses it is actually ILLEGAL to speed, even when overtaking. ie. there should be no need to overtake if the car you are trying to get around is already doing the speed limit…”

That’s right. Which is why I have to wonder why people choose to use the right hand lane of a dual lane highway when not actually passing another vehicle.

As for overtaking in single lane situations, I am a firm believer that the less time spent on the wrong side of the road the better. That doesn’t mean getting to 180 every time you overtake, but if you’re passing someone doing 90, I see no problem with momentarily getting up to 130 to safely get past, then back on the cruise control when finished.

Vader 10:27 am 11 Dec 07

Monaro and Kings highways were not mentioned because the report only covered “National” highways. I would have thought that the Princes Highway would have been even worse than the Pacific, were they considering lower grade highways.

Most interesting was the Hume Highway being considered High Risk all the way from Goulburn to Sydney – the entire length of which is dual carriageway.

The Sturt Highway across the Hay Plain is understandably low risk. Few bends, none tight, visibility 10km+, with a good road surface. The only reason for an accident out there would be fatigue or hitting a roo.

howdy 10:00 am 11 Dec 07

having said that tho people who are going slow and then speed up when you overtake are really the frustration for many.
I once had fun with a car in an 80 zone who was doing 70 when I was behind them but when I went to overtake they’d keep speeding up to 90. I just kept dropping back to 80 and merging back in behind them til they got the message and let me overtake. Not that i’d recommend that is the right thing to do (there was no-one else around at the time and it was just some silly woman) but it made my point well and probably annoyed them too!

howdy 9:47 am 11 Dec 07

“One of the most common problems is the frustration caused by cars with blue and white number plates cruising along at or below the limit in the right hand lane”

I know most people speed to overtake but if you think back to when we got our licenses it is actually ILLEGAL to speed, even when overtaking. ie. there should be no need to overtake if the car you are trying to get around is already doing the speed limit…

Ingeegoodbee 9:27 am 11 Dec 07

I’m really surprised that the Monaro Hwy between Canberra and Cooma and the Kosciuszko Road from Cooma to Jindabyne dosn’t have more fatalities – some of the dumbest driving I have ever seen has taken place on those roads.

Thumper 8:10 am 11 Dec 07

I drive the Barton Hwy quite often and frankly it’s not that bad.

Certainly not compared to the Kings anyway…

Holden Caulfield 11:51 pm 10 Dec 07

I used to drive the Barton Hwy every day in the early 90s and I have to say I’m surprised that it rates so poorly.

Spectra 10:55 pm 10 Dec 07

Fozzy – the method used to calculate the map linked (average casualty crashes per km of road) is, in my opinion, not nearly as useful as that used to generate the second set of maps on that site (average casualty crashes per vehicle km travelled). The second one gives a much better picture of how dangerous the road is for any given driver – of course a busier road is going to have more crashes than an identical bit of road that has one car per week on it – it doesn’t mean it’s more dangerous per se. The map here is probably more what you’re expecting (and a much better indication of where work is required).

Felix the Cat 10:04 pm 10 Dec 07

I think the large roundabout on the Barton Hwy near Giralang has had a few accidents. I know nearly every time I go through it I see near misses.

Felix the Cat 10:02 pm 10 Dec 07

Also there was a report recently in newspapers about a tragic road accident in NT where I think there were 6 people killed in the one single car accident, quite ironic since they have now lowered the speed limit from unrestricted to 130km/h and that the road toll is up 12 from the same period last year. I know NT is nowhere near ACT, just noting that speed is not always the reason for accidents.

the beast stays east 8:35 pm 10 Dec 07

bring on the murrumbateman eastern bypass – let the west rest with the CORE breeding areas of the endangered superb parrot

SamTSeppo 7:54 pm 10 Dec 07

You have to go to page 7 of this:
http://www.aaa.asn.au/documents/reports/2007/AusRAP_Risk_Maps_(2007).pdf

to see some numbers on the various risk levels.

Also, I am shocked — SHOCKED, I say — that Victoria’s rash of speed cameras still results in highways with equivalent danger levels to NSW.

fozzy 7:21 pm 10 Dec 07

It seems a bit strange the rating.

The F3 from Newcastle to Sydney is a High Risk also and that’s a 2 or 3 lane divided carriageway all the way. Similarly the road across the Hay Plains is considered low risk but it’s a single lane in each direction with no dividing on the road.

That’s not to say that the road out to the Hume isn’t dangerous, but just that the ratings seems to be a bit strange.

VYBerlinaV8 7:21 pm 10 Dec 07

… that said, some of the craziest overtaking you will EVER see is on the Monaro Hwy heading south during winter. Imported 4WDs seem to be the biggest offenders.

VYBerlinaV8 7:19 pm 10 Dec 07

One of the most common problems is the frustration caused by cars with blue and white number plates cruising along at or below the limit in the right hand lane. This might have become socially acceptable in Canberra, but it’s not in many other parts of the country.

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