Control of traffic around and through road works is a very high-risk activity on road construction sites, and it is critical that the safety of road workers and road users at these sites is adequately provided for.
In July 2017, four people were killed and a road worker seriously injured in incidents at road works in NSW and QLD and as result the Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland are calling on industry to do everything to minimise the end of queue risks.
TMR’s MRTS02 – Provision for Traffic reflects a requirement for end of queue risk control measures, which chief engineer Julie Mitchell says is mandated in high-speed situations or where sight-distance is restricted.
The current version of the MRTS02 – Provision for traffic and its supplement (July 2017) can be found on the TMR website at: https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/business-industry/Technical-standards-publications/Specifications/1-Overarching-Specifications.aspx. (The relevant clause of the MRTS02 is Clause 6.5.7 Preventing end of queue crashes.)
Online is a range of technical guidance available to assist contractors and practitioners in implementing end of queue requirements and Mitchell has summarised some key points:
- Supplementary devices to reduce speed and prevent end of queue crashes is provided in both the MUTCD Part 3 and in Clause 4.7.8 in the MUTCD Part 3 Supplement.
- A new factsheet has been developed that will assist people who prepare contract documents and manage roadworks contracts, traffic management companies, traffic management design professionals and contractors (PCBU) to identify end of queue risks and manage them.
TMR has said they are also committed to:
- Work with industry to develop a further range of end of queue treatment options to trial at both maintenance jobs and on larger projects, including:
- how PTSS can be enhanced to provide advance warning to drivers
- what options used overseas could potentially be used to stop vehicles entering the work zone (longitudinal rubber barriers on a roll, cable and barb system
- Identify off the shelf signage solutions (that have already been approved but not yet put together) that companies can access immediately to address these issues (like end of queue collision signage options)
- continue to work with the Queensland Police Service to identify opportunities for enforcement to occur at roadwork