Top road safety award goes to innovative Local Government roundabout project

A Mildura-based low cost solution to dangerous intersections has taken out one of Australasia’s premier road safety awards, the 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award.

The award recognises exemplary innovation and effectiveness in saving lives and injuries on roads. The winning project, titled ‘Low Cost Implanted Compact Roundabout’, was led by Christopher Davis, Road Safety Officer at Mildura Rural City Council. Team members on the project included civil engineer Hardeep Singh and contractor B&S Earthmoving.

The 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award was presented at the ACRS Award Ceremony during the opening of National Road Safety Week on Sunday 15th November.

The award was presented by Mr Martin Small, President of the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS), and Mr Andrew King, Group Division Manager ANZ- Transportation Safety, Advanced Materials & Electronic Solutions Materials at 3M.  

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack congratulated all of this year’s award winners for their contribution to improving road safety throughout Australia.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the winners for their invaluable contributions which have helped to enhance road safety standards.” he said.

“I’d especially like to congratulate Chris Davis and the team from Mildura Rural City Council for winning the major road safety award which has contributed to a reduction in death and serious injuries, through the rethinking of road infrastructure.”

Mr McCormack opened the ceremony in a video presentation.

ACRS President, Mr Martin Small, said “The Australasian College of Road Safety is delighted to continue our association with 3M in this highly coveted award.  Congratulations to this year’s winner, Chris Davis and the team at Mildura Rural City Council, for their low cost, highly successful, and easily replicated road safety solution.  Mildura has shown how much can be achieved at low cost by Local Government.”

3M representative Mr Andrew King said “On the 10th anniversary of 3M’s support of this award we wish to congratulate Chris and his team at Mildura Rural City Council for the win. This project shows how innovative road infrastructure design can assist in reducing road trauma. This is a well-deserved 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award winner that could be replicated globally.”

The Low Cost Implanted Compact Roundabout project took two dangerous cross road intersections, and resolved the safety issues present at the two sites for around 1/10 the price of a conventional roundabout.

A typical roundabout has an operating speed of around 35km/h. While this speed usually represents a low or minor risk to vehicle drivers, it presents a significant risk for vulnerable road users. To resolve this issue the project installed spike down speed cushions, with a design operating speed of 20km/h, on all roundabout approaches. The project’s pre and post construction data showed the 85th percentile speed dropped from 43km/h, down to 19km/h. Further, the data showed that 99.84% of drivers entered the roundabout at less that 25km/h.

Since the construction of the two Mildura roundabouts, there have been no recorded crashes at either of the intersections. Local government jurisdictions and agencies are showing strong interest in the project with the outcomes already having a broader positive impact on road safety.

Finalists for the 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award came from many areas including local government groups, not-for-profit organisations, industry associations and private companies.

Judges of the award evaluated all the entries in terms of problem solving, innovation in technology and thinking, and the benefits in reducing trauma. Cost-effectiveness and transferability to other areas were other key criteria.

As the winning team leader, Chris Davis will travel to the USA to visit 3M Global Headquarters in Minnesota. The ACRS and members of the road safety community across Australasia congratulate Chris Davis and his team on their outstanding contributions and their 2020 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award win.
Highly Commended Winners for 2020:
‘Auckland Transport’s Safe Speeds Programme: For the greater good of all Aucklanders’ – Team Leader: Randhir Karma, Group Manager – Network Management, Auckland Transport;

Working for the greater good of Auckland was the coalescing ‘agent’ that brought various AT teams together. The resulting change in organisational culture led to the successful implementation of the first tranche of speed limit changes covering more than 600 roads on 30 June 2020.

No other region in New Zealand had implemented speed limit changes on this scale before. It set the scene for future implementation of its Safe Speeds programme and serves as a beacon for other regional councils locally and internationally to emulate to improve road safety.

‘DriveAbout App’ – Team Leader: Clinton Hoffmann, Managing Director – Ambrose Business Solutions;

DriveAbout is an app and blended learning model that assists people of all ages and backgrounds better learn the principles of road safety and road rules.  The DriveAbout app has digitized the Road User handbook into full animation with an associated test on a mobile app-based platform.  Specifically, school children, learner drivers and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds such as Indigenous, new immigrants and international tourists benefit; however DriveAbout is focused on educating all road users to be safer drivers.

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