High Friction, Perth WA 2002

In the year 2000 through to 2002 black spot funding commenced the incorporation of high friction “non skid” surfacing within the implementation of the roads safety program in Western Australia.

As part of this program ‘non skid’ was installed to 12 different sites, 8 of which were treated with a calcined bauxite high friction surface. Skid resistant testing was monitored by the local authorities and significant improvements in the skid resistance of the high friction pavement surface were recorded as depicted in Diagram 1.

In 2005 the Injury Research Centre at the University of Western Australia released its report into the evaluation of the 2000-2005 black spot program as a whole. Included in this report was a study of the non skid sites which returned the statistical data:

Overall Crash reduction of 6.7%
Casualty Crash reduction of 10.1%
Economic Value Saving of $6.8 M
(Equating to a benefit to cost ratio of 11 : 1)

[Ref:- An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Black Spot Programs in Western Australia, 2000-2002]

In consideration of these figures it is prudent to consider that under normal traffic conditions a high friction surface has no impact on driver behaviour and attitudes. Hence a high friction surface will not impact a reduction in traffic accident statistics that are directly attributed to behavioural considerations in it’s many and various forms.

Taking this into account the probability is that the actual benefit of high friction surfacing is likely to be significantly higher than statistically represented.

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