Trailer Magazine

VTA applauds enforcement of clearways

  • Posted on Monday 29th, June 2020.

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed new Victorian Roads and Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll’s announcement of a $340 million package of initiatives designed to keep Victorian roads moving.

This announcement includes stronger enforcement of clearway zones and the elevation of arterial road clearways within 20 kilometres of Melbourne to tow-away zone status.

For years, the VTA has been advocating 'clearways, not curfews' as a practical and common-sense method of getting maximum utilisation out of the state’s road network and ensuring the free and unimpeded movement of passenger vehicles and freight.

Under the plan announced today, the government said it will blanket traffic hotspots with technology and resources to keep traffic moving and provide drivers with advice about traffic information, with 700 new CCTV cameras to be deployed to identify bottlenecks and provide real-time data that can help re-sequence traffic lights on key arterial roads.

VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, said plans to enforce clearways with harsher penalties and designate arterial roads within 20 kilometres of Melbourne as tow-away zones was important validation of the Association’s advocacy of clearways instead of curfews.

“Clearways are absolutely essential for a seamless and integrated road transport network that enables people and freight to move efficiently around our city and state,” said Anderson.

“Enforcing clearways through higher penalties and fines sends an important message to drivers that if they abuse or disregard clearways they can expect to pay a hefty price," he said.

Anderson said Victorian motorists had responded positively to the abolishment of curfews by local government areas throughout the state during the coronavirus pandemic to help keep supply chains moving.

He said allowing heavy vehicles to use the road network at hours when roads are less congested helped to reduce congestion during the day when the roads are typically more crowded, as well as improving safety for all motorists.

“Clearways, not curfews has been the mantra of the VTA for some time now because we know traffic flows better when lanes are clear and that the freight industry has the ability to better service their customers and the community when the roads aren’t as busy as they are during the day,” he said.

“To keep supply chains free-flowing during coronavirus, many jurisdictions – including Victoria – refrained from enforcing curfews on trucks so that supermarket shelves could be quickly re-stocked.

"This has worked extraordinarily well, and we need to learn from this experience and get away from a mindset that curfews are a solution.”

Last week, the VTA welcomed Carroll's latest appointment.

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