Two highways that claimed the lives of at least three people and caused multiple crashes in southeast NSW in the past year are finally receiving safety upgrades from the NSW Government.
A mass rollout of rumble strips along the Olympic Highway and Sturt Highway began on 26 November to improve safety for thousands of road users.
Rumble strips are partially raised lines used to mark road traffic lanes. They make a ‘rumbling’ sound and cause a vehicle to vibrate when driven over, alerting drivers and riders that they’re moving out of their lane.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said 750km of rumble strips will be installed on the Olympic Highway, starting at Cowra and heading south between now and April.
Work to install 1500km of rumble strips on the Sturt Highway will follow – from Gol Gol, heading east to Hay, and then from Hay to Collingullie, from February 2021.
“This will be a great boost for the local economy, supporting 15 jobs,” said Ms Cooke.
“Rumble strips are so vital for keeping drivers alert and on the road. One road fatality is one too many and I am so pleased this work is being done to make our roads safer.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the installation of 2250km of rumble strips is part of the NSW Government’s $640 million Saving Lives on Country Roads initiative, delivering safety improvements on high-risk country roads.
“Two-thirds of road deaths in NSW occur on country roads, and crashes involving vehicles crossing over the centre line is one of the most severe types of crashes,” he said.
“Rumble strips are a highly effective road safety treatment, known to reduce these incidents by 25 per cent.”
One male driver died after leaving the Olympic Highway and crashing into a tree near Junee in April 2020.
To limit noise impact, rumble strips will not be installed within 200m of homes or other properties sensitive to noise.
Lane closures and a 40km/h speed limit will be in place during work hours and may affect travel times on these roads.