Drivers warned as road 'red carpets' being rolled out in Aussie towns

The simple red patch of road is being installed in more towns and localities around Queensland as authorities try to reduce rising road fatalities.

Roads pictured in western Queensland.
More Queensland towns will notice the red patch of road. Source: Queensland Government

It's probably not too hard to figure out what it means, but transport authorities are reminding drivers about a lesser-known road feature coming to more Australian towns.

In lieu of additional roadside signage, councils and state authorities are opting for less expensive, and arguably less obvious, ways to communicate with motorists. While some drivers were recently surprised to learn the meaning of a kerbside yellow line currently being embraced by one Sydney council, Queensland drivers are being told to watch out for the 'red carpet'.

Officially known as Town Entry Treatments (TETS), Transport and Main Roads Queensland alerted the public on Friday that the red sections of road are "being installed across 17 towns and localities" in the west of the state.

Sharing an image of the road fixture, the department said simple paint job plays "a crucial role in signalling motorists to decelerate".

"These visual cues are designed to enhance driver awareness and contribute to ensuring road safety within our rural communities," the department said."We urge all motorists to remain vigilant when encountering red road surfaces and adhere to the speed limit signs in place."

Painted yellow lines embraced by one Sydney council to deter parking (left) and the red section of road pictured to alert drivers to decelerate (right)
Painted yellow lines embraced by one Sydney council to deter parking (left) and the red section of road to alert drivers to decelerate (right). Source: Facebook/Queensland Government

Reacting to the post on Friday, overwhelmingly people said the simple red stretch of road was a "great idea".

"They are fantastic you can’t say that you didn’t see the speed signs," one person said.

"I love these, having travelled Australia they are a great cue to slow down," another agreed.

"In America they write the speed limit on the road. Australia should do the same to save so many sign posts," one user commented.

However some, including a motorcyclist and multiple Yahoo readers raised concerns that the painted section of road can become more slippery when wet, predominantly for those on two wheels. When approached by Yahoo News about this concern from motorcyclists, the department did not provide comment.

The safety initiative is funded by two separate projects, one fully funded by the Queensland Government under the Targeted Road Safety Program and another funded by the Federal Government. However as Australia deals with an alarming number of road deaths, state authorities are being urged be more transparent about "secretive" road crash data or risk having funding cut.

Last week, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) welcomed a federal government push to force all states and territories to be transparent about road data or risk losing billions in commonwealth funding.

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King revealed the condition would be part of upcoming negotiations over $50 billion in road funding under the National Partnership Agreement.

Some $21 million will also be injected into the National Road Safety Data Hub as part of the upcoming federal budget to be handed down on Tuesday night.

"A clear picture, underpinned by data, about where best to target road safety funding will save lives and ensure we are investing in the projects that will make the biggest difference," King said. "States and territories, researchers and stakeholders, as well as the general public, will also benefit from increased access to national datasets."

The number of fatal road accidents jumped by 8.2 per cent year-on-year to the end of March, with 1286 fatalities, according to the AAA. It previously hit out at federal, state and territory governments for failing to release crucial data that could inform ways to reduce the road toll including the quality of roads, causes of fatal crashes and the effectiveness of law enforcement regimes.

with AAP

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