Finding ways to improve the safety of our roads is a key focus of our work. We’re constantly seeking out and introducing new activities and initiatives. For example, two current initiatives we’re using to make roads safer are rumble strips that signal to drivers that they are straying from the road, and school safety zones and electronic signs special signs near schools that have particular safety issues.

Rumble strips and route guidance

Driving is a full-time task in which we need to respect all other road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists. However, people sometimes make mistakes, especially when they're tired – such as allowing their vehicles to drift to the left or right of the road, and therefore putting themselves and other road users at risk.

To help prevent accidents happening, we've installed 'rumble strips' along state highway edgelines and centrelines to warn drivers and give them the opportunity to correct the situation before it becomes more dangerous. We take care to install rumble strips in places where they won't affect cyclists or where the noise they generate won't disturb nearby residents.

Learn more about our plans to extend rumble strips to a greater number of highways.

School safety zones and electronic signs

As part of our work in protecting the safety of children using roads and footpaths, special zones and signs can now be installed near schools with particular safety issues.

These include:

  • in urban areas, introduction of short 40km/h speed zones (note that local bylaws are required for these)
  • in isolated rural areas, electronic 'children' warning signs, activated for a short period before and after school (to replace the usual fixed signs)
  • signs that measure vehicles' speed and provide feedback to drivers on that speed
  • intelligent electronic warning signs, which alert drivers to other hazardous situations that require their attention – for example, signs triggered by electronic detectors that warn of hidden queues ahead
  • curve warning signs, which detect the speed of approaching vehicles and flash an alert if the speed is above the safe level for that particular curve. Their use is reserved for rare situations where all the usual techniques have been tried but the difficulty of the curve means that crashes are still happening.

Read about our rural school speed management trial [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Rural intersection activated warning signs (RIAWS)

Safety improvements on high-risk rural roads and at high-risk intersections are a key area of focus for Safer Journeys. The greatest proportion of intersection crashes within high-speed environments are crossing or turning crashes between two vehicles. The RIAWS trial is based on a concept successfully developed in Sweden. New signs will: 

  • alert passing motorists to the fact that a vehicle is approaching from a side road

  • reduce speed limits to 70km/h near rural intersections. The reduced speed limits will only operate at times when traffic is approaching from the side road or turning right into the side road.

Read our rural intersection activated warning signs information sheet [PDF, 98 KB]