Making local streets safer with traffic calming

11 April 2022

Victorian Government has invested $46 million into traffic calming and road safety projects across the state to make local streets safer for pedestrians, road users and cyclists. The Safe Travel in Local Streets Program delivered safety improvements on local streets over 2019 to 2022, in partnership with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and local councils to reduce trauma and save lives.

Improving safety on local streets

Working with councils and communities to understand their road safety needs, we’ve made safety improvements to metropolitan and regional local streets to improve the road environment for everyone, especially vulnerable road users. 

In 2015, an average of 7 per cent of deaths and serious injuries in Victoria were caused by crashes involving cyclists and 11 per cent of deaths and serious injuries were from crashes involving pedestrians. Research shows that if a pedestrian or cyclist is hit by a car travelling at 60km/h they are unlikely to survive. In fact, a pedestrian’s or cyclist’s risk of death or serious injury increases where vehicles are traveling at speeds of 30 km/h and upwards.

Traffic calming measures use road infrastructure and design elements to encourage safer, more responsible driving on local roads, especially on roads with high pedestrian activity. Projects funded under the Safe Travel in Local Streets program, use traffic calming measures such as road narrowing, speed humps and dragon teeth linemarking, to improve safety for pedestrians on local streets.

Safe Travel in Local Streets Program

In July 2020, the Victorian Government boosted its initial investment of $26 million to $46 million into the Safe Travel in Local Streets program, as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to improve the safety of local roads across metro and regional Victoria.

Safe Travel in Local Streets was created to support metropolitan and regional councils with project grants, to fund safety upgrades in communities and improve local amenities by transforming roads that are high-risk or have a high-crash history. 

The initiative help to deliver low cost – high impact traffic calming infrastructure across local metropolitan and regional streets to make the road environment safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Safe Travel in Local Streets projects included traffic calming measures such as: 

  • street narrowing
  • dragon teeth line marking
  • speed cushions and road humps
  • raised pavements and safety platforms
  • wombat crossings
  • small roundabouts 
  • modifications to existing roundabouts
  • pinch points or partial street closures

Dragon teeth linemarking are a series of painted triangular road markings placed in pairs on each side of a lane or road. Dragon teeth caution drivers to slow down ahead of a 40km/h speed zone.

Image: Dragon teeth linemarking are a series of painted triangular road markings placed in pairs on each side of a lane or road. Dragon teeth caution drivers to slow down ahead of a 40km/h speed zone.

Targeted Road Safety Works Program

Additionally, the joint Australian and Victorian Government Targeted Road Safety Works program is dedicating $105.7 million to accelerate the delivery of new infrastructure projects, continue roads safety improvements and support construction jobs and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program has funded safety improvements for pedestrians at more than 55 schools, shopping strips and intersections across the state, safety upgrades on 30 high-speed, high risk rural intersections and other safety improvements at a further 16 locations across the state, including installing flexible safety barriers, roundabouts, traffic islands, lighting and signage enhancements and road surface treatments.

As part of this infrastructure package, we delivered traffic calming projects to make local streets safer for all road users through the Pedestrian and Safer Schools Program in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Photo of 40 km/h electronic speed sign 
Image: Electronic speed limit signs flash to caution drivers to slow down ahead of busy shopping precincts and school zones.

Busy, high-risk pedestrian and school areas in metropolitan and regional Victoria have been made safer thanks to the joint $19.5m investment by the Australian and Victorian Government.

Over 30 school zones in metropolitan and regional Victoria were upgraded in 2021 to improve safety for school children and pedestrians, with electronic speed limit signs installed on approach to 40km/h school zones. A form of traffic calming, these electronic signs help reinforce existing or new speed limits, at times where our most vulnerable pedestrians use the road. 

Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable road user groups, and the number of pedestrians killed or hospitalised has increased in the last 5 years. Between 2014 and 2019 more than 170 pedestrians were killed in Victoria, with more 2300 seriously injured on Victorian roads.

Pedestrian safety improvements are also being made state-wide as part of Australian Government’s $3 billion Road Safety Program, being delivered in partnership with the Victorian Government.

Upgrades under the Road Safety Program will create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. New infrastructure includes electronic speed limit signs, improved pathway connections, rail trail upgrades and on-road cycling paths, and improved signals at traffic lights. 

For more information

Visit our Safer Roads interactive map to find out about projects underway your local area.

Alternatively, get in touch with us via email at [email protected]

*This data is analysing preliminary crashes between July and December 2019 and is subject to change.

*Updates to the Information Access (IA) system may alter serious injury data.  

 

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