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RAA warns duplicate Augusta Highway or risk more lives

Friday, 10th May 2019

RAA is renewing its call for the next Federal Government to commit $2 billion to duplicate Augusta Highway as crashes on the road continue to add to the state’s spiralling road toll.

Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain said the busy single-lane highway was notorious for crashes, especially head-on collisions, with 19 deaths and 199 serious injuries recorded between 2013 and 2017

“The tragic head-on crash involving two trucks during the Easter weekend shows the need for government to take urgent action,” Mr Mountain said.

Augusta Highway is one of regional South Australia’s busiest roads with more than 4000 vehicles, including cars and heavy freight vehicles, travelling on the 200 kilometres of single carriageways between Port Wakefield and Port Augusta each day.

“Mixing passenger and very heavy freight traffic, such as road train combinations, on single lanes is a recipe for disaster,” he said.

“RAA is calling for all political parties to commit to the staged duplication of Augusta Highway between Copper Coast Highway and Port Augusta to reduce road fatalities and increase safety for freight, tourist and regional traffic.”

In addition to the lives saved and injuries avoided by upgrading the highway, RAA points to the strategic importance of Augusta Highway as a vital link to the state’s north and Eyre Peninsula.

“Augusta Highway is a vital arterial link to domestic and export markets for seafood and grain producers as well as iron-ore mining and steel manufacturing,” Mr Mountain said.

“Two lanes in both directions will also futureproof the corridor ahead of the trial and introduction of autonomous vehicles that will require at least two lanes in both directions.

“This will position the highway and South Australia at the forefront of Australia’s autonomous freight innovation and operations.”

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