Chris Jurewicz picks up road safety research prize

By: Paul Howell


ARRB Group researcher wins the Peter Vulcan Award for his part in a new curve risk mitigation project.

Chris Jurewicz picks up road safety research prize
Chris Jurewicz's research helped develop a program that can assess the safety and risk factors of each curve in the road network.

 

ARRB Group senior research engineer Chris Jurewicz has received the Peter Vulcan Award for the year’s best research paper on road safety.

His paper, From Research to Practice – Development of Rural Mass Curve Treatment Program, has provided the theoretical and statistical base for a new program currently being carried out on Victoria’s road network.

"I’m thrilled to have received the Peter Vulcan Award for best research paper," Jurewicz says.

"Getting such high recognition for your work is always an unexpected but very welcome surprise."

The research was used to propose and successfully develop what will be a 10-year, $100 million project VicRoads will implement.

It has involved creating a carefully-weighted algorithm that can be used to assess the safety and risk factors of each curve in the road network.

Each curve is then given a consistent set of warning and risk mitigation adjustments depending on its grading of low, medium or high risk.

Signage, lane markings, shoulder widening, and barriers are some of the strategies that will be used to reduce the risks, Jurewicz says.

"Rural road curves provide one the most challenging features to be negotiated by drivers on high-speed rural roads," the paper, co-authored by Jurewicz and three other colleagues, states.

The model it explains "is expected to provide a consistent level of curve delineation and warning, and thus, condition drivers to better respond to the crash risk of the curves ahead".

Heavy vehicles are particularly responsive to the types of mitigation factors being implemented, Jurewicz tells ATN.

"Trucks require a very good level of signage and line-marking because drivers are often sitting outside of the [standard] field of reflectors," he says.

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