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Safer Road Surfaces - Saving Lives

by Australian Road Research Board on June 16, 2011

Click here for latest information and to view footage and photos from the Conference

ARRB has hosted the 3rd International Road Surface Friction Conference on the Gold Coast which was attended by 240 delegates from 15 countries. Within the theme of 'Safer Road Surfaces - Saving Lives' the conference ran for three days, 16-18 May 2011. Delegates received an impressive two day program of quality technical presentations on a wide range of aspects of the management of road surface skid resistance and texture, including keynote presentations from high-profile speakers from the UK, New Zealand and Qatar. A day of technical demonstrations completed the conference schedule.

Delegates were given the opportunity to take part in a forum on the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (and how road surfaces can contribute to its success). At a second forum on Disaster Recovery, a fascinating insight was provided by engineers at the forefront of the challenges presented by the Queensland floods and cyclones and the Christchurch earthquakes, and specifically, the massive task of restoring road networks and associated infrastructure to their former condition.

Topics discussed and demonstrated throughout the program included:
• Performance of old vs new vehicles
• Roles of micro and macro texture on skid resistance
• Targeting resources and works to most demanding areas
• Data collection methods, equipment and practices

With the considerable assistance of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, the second day of the conference saw a highly successful Mount Cotton track day, where delegates received a unique insight into Police crash investigation techniques and observed a number of skid-to-stop tests in dry and wet conditions using various vehicle types, ages and configurations. A range of static and mobile test devices were also displayed.

ARRB hosted the conference in association with the NZ Transport Agency and WDM Limited (UK). The closing address was given by ARRB's Managing Director, Mr Gerard Waldron, who acknowledged the considerable efforts of the technical steering committee and the ARRB events team in bringing the conference to Australia for the first time.

Delegates were invited to reconvene in 2014 in the UK for the 4th International Road Surface Friction Conference, with the key challenges facing researchers and practitioners of skid resistance identified as below:
• How to sell our message? Involving media?
• Developing National and International strategies and initiatives to avert the emerging disaster of road accident rates
• Implementation of the holistic concepts of safer journeys involving all aspects of the process
• Using new materials to provide suitable surfaces for the motorcyclist and cyclist
• Evaluating the implications of community vs personal risk in setting investigatory levels

For further details on the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety click here.