Changes for Safer Roads

Narrandera Shire Council
April Road Safety Editorial

Safer roads are more forgiving and account for human error. If a driver or rider makes a mistake, safer roads can reduce the chance that it will result in a fatality or serious injury. In our region safety improvements including audio tactile marking and wide centrelines are being implemented to reduce the likelihood and severity of crashes.

Driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to the road toll. Fatigue was a contributing factor in 43 per cent of fatal and serious injury crashes in Narrandera Shire in 2019.

Audio tactile line marking involves placing small, raised bumps along the edge of roads and/or down the centre line. They are sometimes referred to as “rumble strips” and alert drivers who may be falling asleep or distracted.

When a vehicle’s tyre drives over the line marking, they produce both a noise (audio) and vibration (tactile) warning drivers that their vehicle is leaving the lane, veering into oncoming traffic or off the edge of the road. Audio tactile line marking is usually installed offset to the standard line marking, so will only produce the audio tactile effect if a vehicle has left its lane.

Audio tactile line marking is intended to give drivers the opportunity to correct their path and reduce the risk of crashes due to driver inattention including fatigue. It is estimated to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries where a vehicle leaves the road by up to 25 per cent.

Head-on or run-off-road crashes accounted for 77 per cent of lives lost on NSW country roads in 2019.

Wide centrelines replace the existing centreline on a road with two new lines up to 1.5 metre apart, usually centrelines are 0.1 metre apart. The increased space between traffic provides additional reaction time if a driver unintentionally drifts across the centreline towards oncoming traffic. The width of the wide centreline varies depending on the traffic volume and road conditions.

It is estimated that wide centrelines reduce head-on crashes by 50 per cent. They can also reduce run-off-road crashes by up to 25 per cent. When audio tactile line marking is combined with wide centrelines, it can reduce fatalities and injuries from head-on crashes by up to 65 per cent.

Standard road rules apply when driving on a section of the road with a wide centre line. A solid line does not allow overtaking, but a broken line does.

In Narrandera Shire approximately 0.5-metre-wide centreline and audio tactile line marking is being implemented on the Sturt Highway, the Newell Highway, Irrigation Way and Burley Griffin Way, with some works already completed.

“Projects like these can mean the difference between someone getting home or not – and collectively make NSW roads safer for all of us,” said Paul Toole, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads.

While the work is carried out there will be some temporary traffic changes to ensure the work zone is safe. Single lane closures and a reduced speed limit may affect travel times. Please keep to the speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs. For the latest traffic updates visit livetraffic.com or download the Live Traffic NSW App.

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