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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-093
Date: December 1999

Pedestrian Safety in Australia




Creating improved safety and access for pedestrians requires providing safe places for people to walk, as well as implementing traffic control and design measures which allow for safer street crossings. A study entitled "Evaluation of Pedestrian Facilities" involved evaluating various types of pedestrian facilities and traffic control devices, including pedestrian crossing signs, marked versus unmarked crosswalks, countdown pedestrian signals, illuminated pushbuttons, automatic pedestrian detectors, and traffic calming devices such as curb extensions and raised crosswalks. The study provided recommendations for adding sidewalks to new and existing streets and for using marked crosswalks for uncontrolled locations. The "Evaluation of Pedestrian Facilities" also included synthesis reports of both domestic and international pedestrian safety research. There are five international pedestrian safety synthesis reports; this document compiles the most relevant research from the Australia.

This synthesis report should be of interest to State and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, transportation engineers, planners, and researchers involved in the safety and design of pedestrian facilities within the highway environment.

Michael F. Trentacoste
Michael F. Trentacoste
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development


Pedestrian Safety in Australia

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1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Pedestrian Safety in Australia

5. Report Date
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Peter Cairney

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

AARB Transport Research

University of North Carolina
Highway Safety Research Center
730 Airport Rd, CB #3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration
Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Prime Contractor: University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
FHWA COTR: Carol Tan Esse

16. Abstract

This report was one in a series of pedestrian safety synthesis reports prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to document pedestrian safety in other countries. Reports are also available for:

United Kingdom (FHWA–RD–99–089)
Canada (FHWA–RD–99–090)
Sweden (FHWA–RD–99–091)
Netherlands (FHWA–RD–99–092)

Australia is a federation of States and Territories, and government responsibilities broadly mirror that in the USA. Local government is responsible for 80 percent of the road network, though the less heavily traveled parts. Australia is highly urbanized (notwithstanding large tracts of sparsely populated land). Almost 40% of the population lives in Melbourne or Sydney, and another 20% in Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Australia has been a pioneer of traffic calming in the form of Local Area Traffic Management, particularly in residential neighborhoods. Innovations are evident in the traffic signal area. Puffin crossings with infrared detectors seem promising. Pelican crossings are likely to find ready application, and having them set up for double cycle operations appears to offer benefits.

Australia was particularly innovative in developing the "safe routes to school" program, which integrates education, route selection, and engineering treatments to increase pupil safety. Also in development is the "walk with care" program designed for the elderly.

17. Key Words

Australia, pedestrian crossings, local area traffic management, pedestrian safety, pedestrian signals

18. Distribution Statement
19. Security Classification (of this report)


20. Security Classification (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized



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