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Customer Outcome 7: Safety and Performance

Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan

Customer Outcome 7: Safety and Performance

A safe transport system for every customer with zero deaths or serious injuries on the network by 2056

Safety and performance are interlinked. As we expand and improve the transport networks to meet increased movement of vehicles, people and goods, safety remains our foremost concern. To ensure safe mobility for all customer and freight travel, safety outcomes will be built into our infrastructure and services upfront. Principles to guide this include:

  • Lifting the safety of our roads by designing standards so all new roads are designed to a standard of 4 or 5 star
  • Prioritising separation of different transport users to improve safety, freight efficiency and promotion of active travel
  • Ensuring safety features are better matched to road function and account for the different road users in each environment
  • Encouraging faster adoption of critical safety technologies, and the uptake of new vehicle technologies that provide safer end to end journeys.

Despite a long term decline in road fatalities, there has been a recent increase in fatalities since 2014 across NSW. In 2017, 392 people lost their lives on our roads, almost 70 percent of these fatalities occurred on country roads. Reducing road trauma is a State Priority.

More than two-thirds of NSW road fatalities occur on country roads. Greater Newcastle, like other regional NSW areas, is over-represented in fatal road crash statistics compared to its population. In 2016 there were 34 fatalities in the Greater Newcastle region, accounting for nine percent of the total State road toll. Greater Newcastle represents 7.5 percent of the State’s population.

With the release of the Road Safety Plan 2021 in February 2018, the NSW Government has set an ambitious target to reduce road fatalities by at least 30 per cent on 2008-2010 levels by 2021 with a long term vision of working towards zero trauma on the transport network.

The Road Safety Plan 2021 features targeted and proven initiatives that will help us progress towards our transport safety goals, addressing key trends, trauma risks and the types of crashes occurring on NSW roads. Over the next five years, the NSW Government will deliver key actions in the Plan, including:

A new Saving Lives on Country Roads program to deliver safety infrastructure upgrades on high risk curves and key routes on regional NSW roads Tackle drink and drug driving behaviour by strengthening penalties and enhancing enforcement, including swift, strong and certain penalties for lower range drink driving and drug presence first offenders Develop a new NSW Police enforcement strategy for regional and metropolitan NSW to target high risk behaviour Increase safety for vulnerable road users by providing pedestrian crossings, refuges and traffic calming devices, as well as expanding 40km/h zones in high pedestrian and local areas
Work with the heavy vehicle industry to develop a new heavy vehicle strategy to improve operational safety and increase the uptake of safety technology.

The NSW Government will continue to deliver the Safer Roads Program, which is a state-wide program that delivers targeted safety infrastructure projects to address a variety of road safety issues, such as intersections, fatigue and run off road crashes. The 2017–2018 program will see 200 projects funded, of which almost 70 percent are in regional areas.

Maritime Safety Plan 2017-21

In a region characterised by extensive and scenic waterways, lakes, rivers and coastline, many of our customers in Greater Newcastle who take to the water for commercial or recreational boating will benefit from the initiatives and continued support for maritime safety set out in the NSW Maritime Safety Plan 2017-2021.

The Plan released in January 2018 adopts the internationally recognised Safe System Approach consistent with the Road Safety Plan 2021. This approach recognises that people are the most important element of the system. The Plan sets out initiatives to encourage safe behaviour, safe vessels and safe waterways.

The Plan sets the same ambitious target of reducing the rate of fatalities and serious injuries on NSW waterways by 30 percent by the end of 2021. Our longer term vision is to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2056.

Over the past five years, the NSW Government has invested more than $500 million in delivering services and infrastructure to the NSW maritime community. Boat registrations, driver licence and mooring fees along with maritime property revenue are paid into the Waterways Fund, established to provide funding for the initiatives contained in the Maritime Safety Plan 2021.

A new Maritime Investment Strategy is being developed on how the Waterways Fund will support evidence-based initiatives in this plan.

Transport for NSW will also continue to investigate the continued application of technology to improve safety on our transport network. As part of the Road Safety Plan 2021, we will increase the uptake of safer new and used vehicle, and will enhance the NSW Government vehicle fleet policy with lifesaving technologies, including autonomous emergency braking and other driver assist technologies. Initiatives such as Smart motorways and trialling new in-vehicle technologies, like Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, hold great potential for reducing road trauma in regions like Greater Newcastle where motorways support high volumes of heavy vehicles.

The Cooperative Intelligent Transport Initiative

Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) allow vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic signals, that are fitted with the same system. Drivers then receive alerts about upcoming hazards and traffic signal information. The technology is sometimes referred to as ‘connected vehicles’.

The Centre for Road Safety has established Australia’s first C-ITS testing facility, known as the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Initiative (CITI). Based in the Illawarra region of NSW, the trial has fitted C-ITS technology to up to 60 trucks; 11 public buses; 2 light vehicles and 1 motorcycle. The trial includes 3 signalised intersections, broadcasting signal phase information to C-ITS equipped vehicles; 1 portable roadside unit broadcasting speed limit information to C-ITS equipped vehicles and 3 portable roadside units receiving and collecting data from C-ITS equipped vehicles.

These devices allow drivers in participating vehicles to see the following messages:

  • Intersection collision warning
  • Harsh braking ahead warning
  • Red light alert when light is red or amber
  • Speed limit information.

More than 1 billion records have been collected from the trial for analysis.

CITI is being expanded to include 50 light passenger vehicles. The study will investigate the potential safety benefits and user friendliness of the system.

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