Victoria Minister for Roads Terry Mulder
Yellow Lane Trial Marks An Australian Road Safety First
Victor P Taffa
As part of a new VicRoads roadworks safety initiative, drivers travelling through M80 Ring Road work zones at Tullamarine and Bundoora should watch out for yellow traffic lane markings along the freeway.
Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said the lane marking trial to identify road work zones was thought to be Australia’s first of this nature and would help improve visibility of lanes, particularly in wet weather.
“Road work zones generally require lanes to be shifted to accommodate new work areas and the process of removing redundant white line marking can leave shadow lines on the road.” Mr. Mulder said.
“In various conditions, particularly wet weather, it can be very difficult for drivers to tell the difference between the shadow lines and white lines, which is why we are trialling the yellow paint, so drivers can better distinguish between the new lines and the old lines.”
“Yellow markings at trial locations through the Ring Road work sites will also provide a visual prompt to help drivers recognise they are travelling in a road works area and to stay within the signed roadwork speed limit and drive carefully.”
“We hope this action will make roadworks zones more noticeable and keep drivers more alert to potential hazards.”
Mr. Mulder said different road marking materials were also being tested for yellow and white lines to compare visibility under varying road conditions as part of the trial.
“If successful, the trial of coloured road linemarking may be extended to other road works locations.” Mr. Mulder said.
“The trial work zones with changed line marking will be well signed in advance, to alert drivers and help avoid confusion.”
The lane marking trial is being rolled out on the Ring Road in two phases. The first stage, between Airport Drive and Melrose Drive, heading towards Greensborough uses yellow paint to replace white lines.
The second stage, between Plenty Road and Dalton Road heading towards Altona, follows in the footsteps of the USA, Canada and Europe, featuring new lane markings painted in yellow for drivers to obey, with the old white line marking still visible.
Member for Western Metropolitan Region Bernie Finn said the trial would improve safety.
“Safety must always be a priority and I’m delighted to see this happening to make travelling on the M80 safer for us all.” Mr. Finn said.
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Craig Ondarchie said it would make workers safer.
“As a daily user of the M80 Ring Road, I know this trial will encourage road safety for drivers and will ensure our construction teams can go about their work in a safe and optimal environment.” Mr. Ondarchie said.
M80 Ring Road Director Trevor Boyd said these and other measures were in place to help drivers take extra care of themselves, their passengers and other road users and to protect road workers.
“We’re grateful for people’s patience while we upgrade the M80 Ring Road and we are pleased to trial safety innovations such as this as we deliver the project.” Mr. Boyd said.
The M80 Ring Road Upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments and will improve safety and reduce congestion on the 38 km freeway between Laverton North and Greensborough.
More than 23 km are currently under construction on three sections from the Western Highway to Sunshine Avenue, between the Calder Freeway and Sydney Road, and from Edgars Road to Plenty Road. New lanes will be progressively opened from late 2012.
Across the 38 km corridor the upgrade will deliver at least three lanes in each direction, with improvements to key interchanges and the addition of an electronic freeway management system.