The Government of Victoria in Australia has announced the installation of a new black ice detection and warning system to keep drivers safe during winter road conditions.

Installation of the new technology is reported to be part of a major safety upgrade on the Midland Highway between Ballarat and Creswick.

Victoria Minister for Roads and Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford said: “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 we’re delivering on the Midland Highway between Ballarat and Creswick to ensure this key route is safer.”

Black ice is said to pose a major threat for drivers in regional areas during the winter season by affecting their ability to steer and brake effectively.

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

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

Wendouree Member Juliana Addison said: “We want 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 upgrade of the Midland Highway is said to be part of the Government’s A$1.4bn investment in reducing road trauma and is being delivered by Regional Roads Victoria in partnership with the TAC.