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Fix Blackspots in Federal Government ‘use it or lose it’ road funding

4 minute read

Words by Safety Path Support

November 8, 2021

April 6, 2021

Victoria’s first allocation from the Federal Government’s $2 billion national road safety fund is set to run out in June 2021 in a ‘use it or lose it’ funding model.

The funding – offered in three tranches over 18 months – puts a premium on moving quickly to upgrade roads and provides a unique opportunity to make regional, tourist, and dangerous roads safer.

With little time left to deliver effective road safety projects, there are calls to use better road surfaces and higher visibility. Examples are Calcined Bauxite for road surfaces, a product used in Australia, Europe and USA that enables vehicles to stop faster and luminescent lines and signs to reduce night crashes.

The Victorian Motorcycle Council (VMC) says it wants to see road upgrades made as quickly as possible to help keep its members safe. 

‘Inconsistent grip is one of their main concerns and we know that improved levels of grip, particularly when roads are wet, translates directly into increased rider safety. We’d welcome Victoria’s popular motorcycling roads being treated with grip improving products as quickly and as widely as possible.’ said Mr Salvatore.

‘High friction surface treatments such as calcine bauxite provide increased skid resistance resulting in greater traction and increased braking efficiency leading to safety benefits for all road user vehicle types’, says Michael Caltabiano, CEO of Australian Road Research Board.

‘These qualities are particularly important where maintaining traction is critical for safe travel along a road and a targeted location is identified such as through high speed curves along our rural highways and on the approach to intersections where passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and trucks may experience heavy braking events.’ said Mr Caltabiano.

‘Overseas experience indicates reductions in certain types of crashes can be as high as 70%, with a reduction in injury crashes up to 51.5% being reported. High friction surface treatments are still a relatively affordable measure which can be readily applied to roads across Australia’, said Ms Tia Gaffney, Principal Transport Safety professional at ARRB. the difference High Friction Surface Treatment makes when cars are braking

In addition to bauxite roads, Gus Carfi Chairman of road safety company OmniGrip Direct says luminescent marking paint and luminescent road signs don’t require electric lighting, which is great news for the environment, potentially saving billions of dollars on roads like the Great Ocean Road.

‘Moggs Creek on the Great Ocean Road was identified as an opportunity to replace electric road lighting. We did great work with Regional Roads Victoria to apply a low cost and speedy solution using our luminescent road markings which stand out to road users at night,’ says Mr Carfi.

‘Road safety doesn’t have to be long, complex and disruptive. These are technologies that can vastly improve road safety within a day. We want to help governments rebuild as much of our road network as we can while the funding and opportunity is there’, added Mr Carfi.

‘Road grip and visibility are the key frontiers of road safety, keeping drivers and riders in their lane and on the road.’

‘We can have tourist roads like the Great Ocean Road or Yarra Ranges quickly fixed, or the many high-risk roads around Ballarat and Bendigo. There’s no lengthy planning and construction periods like there are for roadside barriers and road widening. This is great news for safety.

‘We can save lives and quickly employ Victorians by rolling out bauxite roads and luminescent lines and signs in Victorian blackspots,’ concluded Mr Carfi.

OmniGrip Direct fixes Blackspots and high-risk locations on roads, paths and in buildings. Watch the video below to see how calcined bauxite high friction surface treatments make a difference in road crash Blackspots and similar high-risk locations. Download our free Guide to HFST to find out more about where to apply OmniGrip HF on your network. You can also find out how to make road linemarking and pavement marking safer for motorcycle riders.

Title image – Photoluminescent linemarking and pavement marking on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road at Moggs Creek. Photography credit: Miguel Rios, O’Shea Photography

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