Saturday, April 13, 2024

New traffic tool comes to rescue of motorists and road workers

With easing border restrictions set to put more motorists on Queensland roads this month, a new traffic management tool has been launched to help protect the lives of road workers and users.

Changed and temporary traffic conditions at locations like roadworks, construction sites and hazard response sites, create significant risk on roads and, sadly, have proven fatal in recent months.

According to Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Queensland (IPWEAQ) Chief Executive Officer, Leigh Cunningham, the institute has developed the Temporary Traffic Management Toolkit to help address these dangers.

“It is critical that temporary traffic measures are designed and implemented with the highest level of safety, given they are such a major factor in road safety alongside higher and lower volumes of traffic and congestion and prevalence of traffic lights,” Ms Cunningham said.

“While new national mandatory Austroads guidelines for low volume roads (the majority of Queensland roads) have just been launched, our Toolkit responds to concerns by those planning and providing public works and services that the time, cost and resourcing required to implement them will hinder compliance.”

With Queensland recording a 15.4% increase in road deaths in the 12-month period ending October 2021 compared to the previous year, widespread implementation of these new safety standards is critical, she said.

“We have developed the TTM Toolkit to remove these barriers to implementation and to save more lives, more quickly,” Ms Cunningham said.

“Temporary traffic management present risks on all classes of road, so the TTM Toolkit provides a consistent approach for the majority of metropolitan and regional settings and simplifies compliance for even the smallest of traffic planning teams.

“We need to keep all Queensland road workers and motorists safe, whether that involves those driving down the road or thousands of kilometres to reunite with family and friends this Christmas.”

Supporting the development and implementation of the Temporary Traffic Management Toolkit, Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Chief Executive Officer, Alison Smith said the safety of road workers and users is critical to all Queensland councils.

“As a decentralised state, Queensland has a wide variety of councils from Brisbane to Boulia and includes an ever-changing road environment, which is why our members called for a fit-for-purpose solution to temporary traffic management,” Ms Smith said.

“In Queensland, local government manage over 150,000 kilometres of roads, so IPWEAQ’s TTM Toolkit provides councils with the tools and guidance to achieve positive road safety outcomes appropriate to the level of risk when undertaking traffic management.”

The Temporary Traffic Management Toolkit was developed by industry, for industry, supported by LGAQ and validated by Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ) and experienced designers representing all part of the sector. It includes a Traffic Management Plan, tools, templates and 115 traffic guidance schemes.

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