Research shows benefits of passing lanes

RACQ has welcomed new research which revealed when passing lanes were added to roads, they reduced crashes, increased safety and improved journey times.

A report commissioned by Austroads, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the Centre for Automotive Safety Research found there was an average 16 percent reduction in injury crashes when an overtaking lane was introduced on a road.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said it was further proof of the benefits of overtaking lanes on our regional highways.

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“Overtaking lanes help minimise driver frustration, which can stop people taking unnecessary risks and making silly mistakes,” Ms Hunter said.

“This report highlighted the overall benefits of passing lanes, which is why we’re happy to see over 50 of them being added to the Bruce Highway, but we’d like to see a similar mass action program of these rolled out across more of our regional highway network.”

Report lead author, ARRB’s Dr Ian Espada, said the research showed passing lanes were a sensible, cost-effective measure ahead of a potential move to dual carriageways.

“A passing lane reduces congestion on average by 10 percent each time it’s introduced,” Dr Espada said.

“There are improvements in operation and safety benefits. That’s both in terms of actual crashes and the perception of safety. They are a good investment.”