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New black ice detection and warning system installed on Midland Highway

A newly installed black ice detection and warning system will help to keep drivers safe on the Midland Highway near Ballarat in time for winter thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

The new system is part of a major safety upgrade on the Midland Highway between Ballarat and Creswick.

Installed near the intersection of the Midland Highway and Kennedys Road at Mount Rowan, the new warning system will help to prevent run-off-road and head-on collisions, making travel safer for thousands of drivers during colder weather.

The new warning system uses infrared cameras to monitor the road surface for the presence of water or ice and remotely activates a warning light to alert drivers to potential hazards.

Black ice can pose a major danger to drivers in regional areas during the winter months, affecting their ability to steer and brake effectively.

If drivers do hit black ice, they should avoid any sudden steering or braking movements, and where possible should avoid travelling in the early hours of the morning with forecast sub-zero temperatures.

The new warning system comes on top of the construction of a roundabout at Kennedys Road and the Midland Highway, which will make it easier and safer for drivers to travel through this busy intersection.

Other upgrades delivered as part of the $14.5 million Midland Highway package include a new roundabout at the interchange of the Western and Midland highways, flexible roadside safety barriers, intersection upgrades, rumble strip line marking to alert drivers if they begin to veer from their lane, and improved line marking.

The upgrades to the Midland Highway are part of the Labor Government’s $1.4 billion investment in reducing road trauma, being delivered by Regional Roads Victoria in partnership with the TAC.

The Minister for Roads and Road Safety and the TAC stated that the roads around Ballarat are prone to black ice, which is why we’re investing in this technology to provide drivers travelling on the busy Midland Highway with a warning when it is detected.

It’s part of a major package of upgrades the government is delivering on the Midland Highway between Ballarat and Creswick to ensure this key route is safer.

The Member for Wendouree stated that the government wants everyone travelling around Ballarat to get where they need to go safely, which is why this new ice detection is so important.

Everyone from Ballarat and its surrounds knows how tricky the conditions can be – I’m pleased we can now give drivers that extra bit of warning on the Midland Highway.

The Andrews Labor Government is urging Victorians to be safe on the roads as more people prepare to move around the state this Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

With travel in regional Victoria and overnight stays now allowed, the message to Victorians is to stay safe, by maintaining social distance, practising good hygiene and staying home if unwell.

The stay safe message is also extended to the state’s roads, with people urged to make safe choices and look out for each other.

In the past two months, while stage-three coronavirus restrictions have been in effect, there has been a reduction in road deaths, with 31 lives lost across April and May, compared to 57 across the same period last year.

The plea for safety not only comes with increased travel expected as restrictions ease ahead of the long weekend but also as winter weather sets in across the state.


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