Roads and roadsides

Roads and roadsides that are more forgiving to human error mean that crashes are less likely to happen, and if they do, will have a less severe outcome.

Infrastructure treatments such as audio tactile edge lines, wire rope barriers and rest areas can improve the safety of a road.

The Northern Territory road network spreads across a vast area of 1.3 million square kilometres. Over 70% of our 36,000 kilometres of roads are unsealed and our geography and extreme climate creates many challenges.

The Northern Territory has:

  • over 36,000km of roads
  • more than 220 bridges
  • thousands of river and creek crossings
  • 55 roadside rest areas (visit the Northern Territory Government website for further information)
  • 131 truck parking bays and
  • 260km of urban shared off road paths.

Current initiatives

  • upgrading roads in key remote and regional areas to improve year round access
  • incorporating Safe System principles in road designs
  • continuing to invest in roads through general upgrades and participating in the National Black Spot Program
  • undertaking targeted road safety audits and speed limit reviews
  • implementing a National Network Road Safety and Fatigue Management Program including:
    • intersection upgrades
    • culvert widening
    • installing guardrails and audio tactile edge lines
    • duplicating highways where there is a high percentage of heavy vehicle traffic
  • developing appropriate regulations to ensure safe signage and business activities within road reserves
  • lobbying the Commonwealth Government for increased investment in roads.

What you can do

  • Report any road hazards, traffic lights or cycling path faults via the Northern Territory Government’s Report a road fault form
  • Do you know the condition of the roads you intend to travel on, are they open and safe? Check the Road Report NT website (or call 1800 246 199) for updated information.
  • You should always drive at a speed that suits the road and the current weather conditions. If you are not familiar with the vehicle you are driving, drive at a slower speed so you can stop safely if you encounter any unexpected hazards on the road.
  • Motorists should use the signposted designated rest areas along highways.
  • If you drive off the side of the road, do not over correct or brake heavily. Slow down and return to the road when the vehicle is travelling at a safe speed and the road is clear of other traffic.

Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions

 ActionsYearLead Safe System
5.1 Complete a comprehensive network safe system risk assessment of the NT road network, commencing with high risk areas within urban areas. 2-3   Safe roads and roadsides
Safe speeds
5.2 Develop a targeted road safety infrastructure investment program to target high risk areas, including investing in tactile edging, line marking, shoulder widening, barriers and rest areas. 2-3 DIPL Safe roads and roadsides
Safe speeds
5.3 Review and improve road safety signage across the Northern Territory road network including increase speed awareness signs, distance to destinations, overtaking lanes and rest stops. 3-5 DIPL Safe road use
Safe roads and roadsides
Safe speeds
5.4 Develop a Territory wide policy to manage access to flooded roads 3-5 DIPL Safe road use
Safe roads and roadsides
5.5 Continue to lobby the Australian Government for continued funding support for roads investment in the Northern Territory. 1-5 DIPL Safe roads and roadsides
5.6 Continue to invest in roads infrastructure in the Northern Territory including rest stops, road sealing and river crossing upgrades. 1-5 DIPL Safe roads and roadsides
5.7 Explore the opportunities for the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (I.T.S) and plan for the accommodation of automated vehicles. 1-5 DIPL Safe road use
Safe roads and roadsides
Safe vehicles