THE region's emergency services say the proposed Western Highway duplication project is key to improving road safety.
Major Road Projects Victoria is constructing a Western Highway upgrade between Beaufort and Stawell.
Ongoing protests regarding Indigenous heritage claims have delayed works.
While emergency services did not speak to a preferred route for the project - the issue at the heart of the protests - they said they supported duplicating single-lane stretches of highway.
Northern Grampians Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Jason Brown said 87 per cent of Western Highway crashes occurred on the single-lane sections and resulted in serious injuries.
"Northern Grampians Highway Patrol supports the duplication of the Western Highway from Buangor to Ararat with the main factor influencing our unit being the reduction in serious injury collisions," he said.
"From 2013 until now, Victoria Police has attended numerous collisions on both the dual-lane freeway and single-lane highway between Beaufort and Ararat. Regrettably, during this time, four people lost their lives and a total of 40 people sustained serious injuries.
"The reason our unit supports the duplication is because 35 of the 40 people seriously injured occurred on the single-lane sections of the Western Highway between Beaufort and Ararat.
"Victoria Police is unable to comment on the preferred route for the proposed duplication as that is a matter handled by VicRoads."
Ararat Country Fire Authority captain Rob Starrick said the duplication would have other positive impacts.
"Let's face it - if there's an accident, at least the other lane can keep going; whereas at the moment, until Major Crimes turns up, it shuts down the whole highway," he said.
Mr Starrick said emergency services personnel would also reap the benefits.
"There's the trauma for emergency services that turn up to see situations and the people involved, so there are a lot of benefits to having an extra lane there," he said. "It's not good for their mental health."
Mr Starrick said drivers would have more time and space to avoid hazards.
"There was a deer hit last year," he said.
"There are deer and kangaroo all through there, but with a double lane you can move to the other lane.
"You're not going to go into the oncoming lane.
"It just gives you that little bit more time.
"You're still hit but you're not playing into a car coming the other way."
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