Roadside Quiz to Keep Katherine Drivers Safe

Published on Wednesday, 8 May 2024 at 3:09:30 PM

In a first for the Northern Territory, Katherine Town Council has constructed new roadside trivia signs to combat driver fatigue.

In other states, roadside trivia signs are spaced along monotonous stretches of road. The first sign in a sequence poses a trivia question which is answered on a further sign down the road. On long stretches, a ‘hint’ sign is often included in the middle.

Katherine Town Council CEO, Ingrid Stonhill, said many Katherine residents frequently drive the 600 km round trip to Darwin and back in a day.

“The Stuart Highway between Katherine and Darwin doesn’t have enough rest stops or overtaking lanes, making it a long drive without breaks to complete in a day,” Ms Stonhill said.

“Research shows on a long road trip, the closer drivers are to home, they start to relax and consequently are more at risk of succumbing to fatigue, contributing to road accidents.

“The Katherine Town Council boundary toward Darwin sits at around the 40-kilometre mark, in the Edith Falls area.

“It is in that zone that residents returning home to Katherine start to relax but can also become frustrated by the lack of overtaking opportunities when they get stuck behind a road train or caravan.

Ms Stonhill said that interstate evidence shows the trivia signs strategically located within that zone can help keep drivers stay alert as they ponder the trivia question and look out for the next sign with a hint or the answer.

Katherine Mayor, Lis Clark said she is proud that Council is focussing on residents’ safety across all aspects of life in the region.

“The driver reviver signs are not new and are well used in many other Australian states, but this initiative by Katherine Town Council is a first for the NT,” Mayor Clark said.

Mayor Clark said Council has installed roadside signs heading south from Darwin into Katherine in the first instance and will be looking at other highway locations in the future.

NT Road Transport Association Executive Officer, Louise Bilato said she was delighted to see the Katherine Town Council taking a novel approach to road safety messaging.

“Strategies such as this one may be the difference between a loved one’s life saved or lost, so it is very much welcomed by the road transport industry,” Ms Bilato said.

“The industry is acutely aware that fatigue-related crashes are three times more likely to be fatal because drivers who fall asleep at the wheel do not brake.”

The trivia questions have been selected by Katherine Town Council elected members.

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