Road Safety Strategy
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Roads

Investment in infrastructure should be geared towards long-term transformation of the road system taking into account future transport needs and the requirements of future vehicles.

A safe road transport system starts with improved planning. Safer road design principles aim to minimise conflict points, remove and simplify road user decisions, minimise impact angles and minimise impact speeds. One aspect of safer road design is to reduce the mistakes and errors that road users make. ‘Self-explaining’ roads achieve this through consistent roads that make it easier for drivers to match their behaviour to the environment.26 The other aspect of safer road design is to reduce the severity of crashes that do occur. ‘Forgiving’ roads include measures that take into account unintentional road user errors and mistakes, and incorporate road design features that reduce the likelihood of crashes and reduce their severity when they do occur.

Vehicles are becoming more automated and connected. As vehicle technology advances, we will require road infrastructure that helps to support the operation of automated and connected vehicles. We will continue to review technical road standards and guidelines in the context of changing vehicle performance, new technologies and other new information. Autonomous vehicle technologies are likely to provide significant supporting contributions to the Safe System vision now and into the future. To support autonomous vehicles, a range of changes to the way we build and operate our roads may be required, such as changes to line marking and road signs that allow vehicles to consistently read our roads.

Safety and the consequences of crashes will be a key consideration in the way we manage, build and maintain our transport infrastructure.

Trains and trams provide a critical network for the transport of passengers and freight across our State. However, the combination of speed, passengers and freight travelling on intersecting rail and road systems has the potential for high impact or catastrophic incidents. While they do not occur often, any incident at a level crossing can cause service disruptions, motorist delays, property damage and, in the most serious cases, injury and death. The impacts on communities and the economy can be significant and far-reaching. Research has shown that the major cause of crashes at level crossings is road user behaviour like inattention, distraction, risk taking and disobeying the road rules. Responsibility for managing level crossing safety is shared by many organisations, including State and local governments and rail infrastructure owners.

Safe system road treatments

Safe system treatments seek to create a forgiving road system, and are used in locations where there is a high risk of a crash, not just those locations where crashes have already occurred. The most common crash types on regional roads are run-off-road and head-on crashes. We will continue to prioritise works to address these. The treatments selected will depend on the role and function of the road, the volume and type of traffic, and both the crash risk and history on the road and are subject to continuous improvements over time.

Situations

110 km/h, high traffic volume, regional road, e.g. National Highway

Examples of safe system treatments

Midblock

  • Roadside barriers or hazard removal and smooth gentle slopes
  • High quality wide sealed shoulders at least 1.5 m
  • Median treatment, e.g. Wide Centre Line Treatment and/or Median Wire Rope Safety Barrier
  • Duplication with a wide median and/or median barrier
  • 2+1 treatments with a median barrier
  • Audio Tactile Line Marking on Centre and Edge Lines

Intersections

  • Grade separation
  • Roundabout
  • Channelised turn lanes
  • Relocation of right turns and creation of U-turns
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced run-off-road crashes
  • Reduced severity of any crashes which still occur
  • Reduced intersection crashes
  • Reduced head on crashes
Examples

 

A double-lane road with wide, 1.5 m shoulders and roadside barriers

Four-way exit roundabout with channelised turn lanes

110 km/h, moderate traffic volume, regional road, e.g. road connecting two regional towns

Examples of safe system treatments

Midblock

  • Roadside barriers or hazard removal
  • High quality sealed shoulders of 1 m width
  • Median treatment, e.g. Wide Centre Line Treatment
  • Audio Tactile Line Marking on Centre and Edge Lines

Intersections

  • Roundabout
  • Rural Intersection Active Warning System
  • Channelised turn lanes
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced run-off-road crashes
  • Reduced likelihood and severity of intersection crashes
  • Reduced head on crashes
  • Reduced severity of any crashes that still occur
Examples

 

Sealed road with 1-metre shoulders with wide, centre median line treatments.

Rural road intersection with active warning system and channelised turn lanes

100 km/h, low traffic volume, regional road providing access to local destinations

Examples of safe system treatments

Midblock

  • Roadside barriers or hazard removal
  • High quality sealed shoulders of at least 500 mm width
  • Audio Tactile Line Marking on Centre and Edge Lines

Intersections

  • Channelised turn lanes
  • Wide sealed shoulders
  • Duplicated warning signs and rumble strips
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced run-off-road crashes
  • Reduced intersection crashes
Examples

Sealed regional road with sealed shoulders of at least 500 m width

Metropolitan intersections, major roads

Examples of safe system treatments
  • Grade separation
  • Control or separation of turn movements
  • Separation of walking and cycling movements
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced right turn crashes
  • Reduced pedestrian and cyclist crashes

Metropolitan intersections, local roads

Examples of safe system treatments
  • Roundabout
  • Raised platform
  • Cycling and walking infrastructure
  • Protected turn lanes
  • Reduced speed limit or environment
  • Closure / change to some access
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced turn crashes
  • Reduced pedestrian and cyclist crashes
Examples

 

Cyclist at the traffic lights in-between two cars showing the cycling infrastructure

Road with cars on a two-way lanes showing a white car turning left.

Motorcycle touring routes

Examples of safe system treatments
  • High quality advanced warning signs
  • Audio Tactile Line Marking on Centre and Edge Lines
  • High quality sealed shoulders 1 m wide
  • Motorcycle under-run protection on all roadside barriers
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced likelihood and severity of motorcycle crashes

Metropolitan roads midblock

Examples of safe system treatments
  • Footpaths and shared paths
  • High quality, separated bike lanes
  • Pedestrian refuges and signalised crossings
  • Lower speed limits
  • Wide run off areas with minimal roadside hazards
  • Frangible roadside infrastructure, e.g. removal of stobie poles
Road safety benefits
  • Reduced likelihood and severity of hit fixed object crashes and pedestrian and cyclists crashes
Examples

Pedestrian refuges in the middle of a median strip with a road on either side

Strategies for safer roads for all road users is located on the Walking, cycling and public transport page.