Why safe roads matter
A $1 Billion investment in improving our roads is the cornerstone of the Towards Zero Strategy.
The Safer System Roads Infrastructure Program (SSRIP) is a partnership between the TAC and VicRoads to deliver safer roads infrastructure throughout Victoria. The TAC has committed $1 billion to the program over 10 years, with VicRoads responsible for managing the projects. This program will transform Victoria's highest risk roads into some of the state's safest.
Safer roads can reduce the most common crash types:
- Vehicles leaving the road.
- Head-on collisions.
- Side-impacts at intersections.
- Collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.
These life-saving changes are planned to be complete by 2020.
Towards Zero involves the biggest effort ever to improve rural roads, because a disproportionate number of country people are losing their lives. Road infrastructure plays a vital role in helping reduce crashes and minimising the severity of injuries if there is an accident.
- 56% on high-speed rural roads (barriers, tactile lines, signage/line marking).
- 34% on intersections, local streets and blackspots (barriers, intersection treatments, traffic claiming treatments in local streets)
- 10% on infrastructure for pedestrians and safe cycling.
Protection for vulnerable road users:
- Separate lanes for cyclists.
- Raised crossings for pedestrians.
- Traffic calming in busy areas such as shopping strips.
Features of safe roads:
- Roundabouts - time and time again, roundabouts have proven safer than stop signs or signals at an intersection. Roundabouts work by slowing the speed of motorists and directing all traffic in one direction so that if a crash does happen, impact speed is likely to be low and the angle of collision is less severe by avoiding dangerous 'T-bone' crashes.
- Flexible barriers such as wire rope barriers prevent cars from running off the road or into oncoming traffic. If a collision does occur, it is with the barrier rather than a solid object beside the road or oncoming vehicle. The barrier is forgiving and absorbs much of the force, reducing the impact to the human body and allowing the vehicle to come to a gradual standstill. Flexible barriers have successfully reduced the number or run-off-road crashes by 80-90%, largely in regional Victoria.
- Tactile surfaces are raised or grooved patters along a road, to provide motorists with an audible warning that their vehicle is straying from the travel lane, usually as a result of the drive being drowsy or distracted.
- Sealed shoulders - When a vehicle leaves the road, especilly at high speeds, stopping an/or steering back into the traffic lane is easier if the tyres are able to grip to a sealed shoulder, rather than trying to find traction on loose gravel.
- Lane markings help drivers guide their vehicles through turning movements.
Evaluations of SSRIP so far show:
- an average 30% reduction of casualty crashes
- a 35% reduction of intersection crashes
- 26% reduction in run off road crashes.
Vehicles leaving the road
Side-impacts at intersections