No More Near Misses
About the project
Indigo Shire is partnering with Beechworth Primary School, Beechworth Health Service and Design Jam to tackle driver distraction through the Junction Road school zone.
This project is a result of a VicRoads Towards Zero Challenge grant to trial ideas at Beechworth Primary along Junction Road to prompt drivers to reduce distractions when driving, and in particular when traveling through the school zone. It came about due to reports of near misses in the school zone and pedestrians feeling unsafe when crossing the road, specifically during school pick-up and drop-off.
What did the project involve?
A series of workshops were run with the school community to understand the major factors causing drivers to be distracted along the road and explore solutions and ways to mitigate these challenges.
The workshops resulted in a series of interventions including:
- A permanent school crossing along Junction Road
- Additional signage on High Street
- Fence art work
- Way finding stickers directing students to cross at the designated crossing point
The below video clip highlights the enjoyment students get from walking safely to school. It is important that each and every driver reflects on their behaviour and avoids distractions to ensure that students now have the same opportunity to walk to school as students from previous years.
What did we achieve?
While researching this project, speed and traffic counters revealed that across a 9-day period, 42% of drivers were exceeding the posted speed limit of 40km/h.
Upon installing the interventions listed above - the new pedestrian crossing in mid-2020 and the artwork and additional signage in December 2020, speed and traffic counters in late February 2021 revealed that across a 7-day period, 37% of drivers were exceeding the posted speed limit of 40km/h, a 5% reduction since 2019. Furthermore, the average speed recorded was 37km/hour which represents a 3% average speed reduction compared to 2019.
In addition to the interventions, a second project video was prepared in early 2021 featuring a project overview, students art workshops and messaging on road safety awareness to encourage safer driving behaviours in the Junction Road area. You can watch it below: