The Road Safety Roundabout – Ending the Cycle

The Road Safety Roundabout is complex. In many ways, it reminds us of the scene in National Lampoon’s European Vacation when the terminally confused Clerk Griswold and his family attempt to navigate a roundabout in London. Once you are on the roundabout, it is confusing, and challenging, and unless you proactively plan your way out, you could be stuck in an infinite loop.

In our series of blogs, we’ve looked at technology, design, global approaches, and more, and we’ve searched for workable solutions, initiatives, and innovations that could work in Australia. Here are ten ideas that could make a difference and start Australia’s road deaths trending towards zero by 2050.

Enhanced Enforcement of Traffic Laws: Increased policing of speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving through the use of speed cameras, sobriety checkpoints, and mobile phone detection cameras can deter dangerous behaviours.

Road Infrastructure Safety Audits: Regular safety audits and upgrades of existing road infrastructure to identify and mitigate high-risk areas, such as improving lighting, signage, and road surface conditions.

Expansion of Safe System Approach: Adopting the Safe System approach more broadly, which assumes human errors and builds the road system to be forgiving, can reduce the severity of crashes. This includes better protection for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): Encouraging the inclusion of advanced driver assistance systems in vehicles, such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and collision warnings, can significantly decrease incidents while balancing their importance without the ‘nag’ factor that causes drivers to turn them off.

Improved Cyclist and Pedestrian Infrastructure: Building more dedicated bike lanes, pedestrian paths, and safer street crossings can protect these vulnerable road users.

Targeted Public Education Campaigns: Running continuous public education campaigns about the risks of speeding, the importance of wearing seat belts, and the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.

Rural Road Upgrades: Investing in better infrastructure in rural areas, where a higher rate of fatal incidents occurs, such as sealing roads, improving road alignment, and adding overtaking lanes.

Implementation of Urban Traffic Calming Measures: Introducing traffic calming measures in urban areas, such as speed humps, chicanes, curb extensions, and reduced speed limits, especially in residential areas and school zones.

Promotion of Public Transportation and Alternative Travel Modes: Enhancing public transport options and facilities for walking and cycling to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Graduated Licensing Schemes: Strengthening graduated licensing schemes for new drivers with a focus on extending learner and provisional periods, enhancing the quality of driver education, and imposing restrictions on high-risk driving situations and vehicles.

“We don’t deny that reaching zero road deaths is a challenge, as there are so many variables involved, but just because a goal is challenging doesn’t mean it is unachievable. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but as technology improves, initiatives are rolled out, and we adapt our road use to take into account future use; it is a goal worth having and striving for,” said Civil Project Partners’ Ryan O’Neill.

“The reality is that for Australia to be successful in Vision Zero 2050, it will take a concerted effort, joined-up planning, education, technological advancements and more to exit the road safety roundabout.”

Civil Project Partners would also like to thank industry leader Kenn Beer of Safe System Solutions for his insights and input into our latest blog series. Learn more about their services and how they can support your projects at:

You can also download a copy of their capability statement HERE.

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