What these new road markings mean. Picture: Peter Lorimer.
What these new road markings mean. Picture: Peter Lorimer.

New road markings to put an end to tailgating in NSW

TAILGATERS are being targeted by new road markings in NSW in a fresh push to reduce the number of rear-end crashes on one particularly busy road.

All Aussie drivers are taught to leave a three-second gap between their vehicle and the one in front of them but it seems to be a rule many are ignoring.

Tailgating in rear-end crashes is a particular concern along the busy M1 Pacific Motorway.

As a result, the NSW Government has decided to paint arrow like chevrons on the road to remind motorists to keep a safe gap.

The new Safe Gap Road Signs that will accompany the new road markings. Picture: Peter Lorimer
The new Safe Gap Road Signs that will accompany the new road markings. Picture: Peter Lorimer

The white arrows have been painted on a 13km straight section of the M1 between George Booth Dr at Seahampton and the Palmers Rd interchange at Ryhope.

The markings are accompanied by signs instructing drivers to "Keep at least 2 chevrons apart" - which is equal to 92m.

Failure to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front will result in a $448 fine and three demerit points.

Centre for Road Safety chief executive Bernard Carlon told news.com.au that three seconds is generally the fastest possible time a driver will be able to respond to an incident.

"Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you is a basic road safety technique that we were all taught when we were learning to drive," he said.

"The higher the speed limit, the greater the distance you need to leave to react if something goes wrong.

"Safe distances can vary depending on the speed a vehicle is travelling, as well as other conditions such as the weather. However as a general rule motorists should travel three seconds behind the vehicle in front."

 

Mr Carlon added that chevrons have been used successfully in Queensland and the UK.

In the five years from 2013 to 2017, 66 people were killed in NSW from rear-end crashes and 3840 were seriously injured in the nearly 21,900 incidents of this kind that occurred in the state.

Almost 700 people have been involved in crashes on the M1 between Wahroonga and Beresford in the past five years.

Drivers are taught that a three-second gap is needed so they have enough time to respond and avoid a crash.

Drivers are taught to leave three seconds between them and the car in front. Picture: Road Users Handbook NSW
Drivers are taught to leave three seconds between them and the car in front. Picture: Road Users Handbook NSW

You can calculate a three-second safety space by noting when the rear of the vehicle in front of you passes an object at the side of the road such as a power pole, tree or sign.

When it does you start to count to three and if your car passes the object before you finish the count then you are too close.

Poor weather conditions like heavy rain or fog may result in a motorists needed an even bigger gap to avoid an accident.


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