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Monday, 26 November 1973
Page: 3866

Mr Bennett asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

(1)   Is there a lack of suitable run-off areas for emergency use by commercial and other vehicles on major national roads, some in populous areas.

(2)   If so, will he have a survey instituted with a view to bringing in a common policy for their installation in all States.

(3)   Will he have his Department investigate the possibility of utilising loose material strips, similar to those developed for the end of aircraft runways overseas, to minimise the defacement of the environment.

Mr Charles Jones - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Bureau of Roads in conjunction with State road authorities has recently completed a survey of Australian roads to be used in its report to the Australian Government on financial assistance to the States for roads after June 1974. This report will recommend action aimed at upgrading roads to acceptable standards. The survey was not, however, designed to determine which specific locations would need emergency run-off areas.

The Australian Government has also initiated a program of traffic engineering and road safety improvements at accident locations, for which $3 million has been provided in the budget for 1973-74. Only a few of the projects submitted by the State authorities for consideration under this program involved emergency run-off areas.

(2)   A committee known as the Australian Committee on Road Devices is at present preparing an Australian manual of uniform traffic control devices. Part of the manual relates to the use and application of the various devices, including recommendations for the uniform application of safety ramps. This could form the basis for a common policy.

(3)   The more detailed examination of various facets of road development so far as their effect on road safety is concerned is one of the matters which will be undertaken by the new National Authority on Road Safety and Standards. The Authority's responsibilities will include the formulation, in consultation with State and other Australian authorities, of safety standards in respect of highway engineering and traffic management.

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