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A Guide to Road Traffic Management

Road Traffic Management Cones

Remember the last time you drove through some roadworks? You’ll probably remember because you were frustrated at the slow speeds – not to mention the 10 extra minutes added to your drive. This is an example of road traffic management in action – and while it can be frustrating at times – a safe and efficient flow of traffic is essential. 

Whether you’re a contractor working in a school zone – or a project manager on a busy Pilbara mine site – knowing the basics is essential to ensure a smooth operation. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to road traffic management – what is road traffic management and why it matters. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is road traffic management?

Put simply, road traffic management is the planning and measures put in place to ensure a safe transfer of persons, vehicles, goods, and other road users. Even simpler: it’s managing risks on our roads. Road traffic management is concerned with all types of vehicles – not just cars. It takes into consideration pedestrians, bicycles, even domestic and wild animals. 

What is the goal of road traffic management?

Road traffic management aims to create a safe and orderly environment for all traffic, vehicles, and persons. Whether that’s the public, employees, management, and everyone in between – a safe traffic environment benefits everyone. 

Where is road traffic management important?

Traffic management is an essential planning consideration in several different locations. Here are some essential spots where road traffic management comes into play:

  • Shopping centres
  • Parking lots 
  • Construction sites
  • Mine sites
  • Events
  • Warehouses 
  • Airports 

Who takes responsibility for road traffic management?

It’s everyone’s responsibility to avoid incidents and ensure a smooth and efficient flow of traffic. However, when it comes to planning and implementing road traffic management solutions – the task falls on those who are responsible for the project or undertaking. As a person conducting a business or undertaking (a PCBU), it is your job to ensure the health and safety of all workers and members of the public who may interact, pass through or live in proximity to the work being carried out. For example, if you’re the owner of a shopping centre experiencing high volumes of traffic – then this will be your responsibility to ensure the necessary solutions are in place. 

Consult workers and health & safety reps

As a PCBU, you should always consult with the relevant stakeholders to ensure you’re getting the best advice there is, and to ensure you’re sticking to your legal obligations. This could involve:

  • Consulting workers with a road traffic management plan 
  • Gathering opinions from a road traffic management specialist 
  • Speaking to a health and safety representative
  • Inform contractors, subcontractors and other third-party workers 
  • Speak to local councils 

Mapping out your road traffic management plan

Developing a safe and effective road traffic management plan can be a difficult task. It’s important you understand the relevant risk management process in order to 

  1. identify potential hazards
  2. assess the risk 
  3. weigh up traffic control measures 
  4. consider traffic elimination 
  5. investigate other traffic management approaches 
  6. draw up a road traffic management plan
  7. implement the chosen traffic management plan

What to include in a road traffic management plan?

Just like every set of road works, traffic lights, and car parks is different, so is each traffic management plan. And that’s a good thing – because traffic management plans should aim to tackle the situation at hand – and nothing else. That being said, here are a few essentials to include in a road traffic management plan:

  • Who is involved – and what their roles and duties are
  • Details of the risks and relevant controls to be implemented 
  • The direction of traffic flow – public and work-related
  • Temporary traffic management options in cases of short jobs
  • How often traffic will be expected to interact with pedestrians, other traffic flows
  • Map and illustrations of the layout
  • Details of contingency plans, fire hazards, and other site-specific risks

Implementing a road traffic management plan 

When it comes to putting plans into action, there are various control methods available. Here are some of the most effective:

Traffic Elimination 

Before opting for any other method it’s essential to consider whether eliminating the risk is a viable option. This can be done by:

  • Not introducing any risk into the workplace 
  • Remove existing hazards
  • Eliminating traffic from the road/worksite 
  • Create dedicated loading and unloading zones to remove traffic from risk areas

Substitution Controls 

Wherever possible, substitute risks for safer alternatives. This could involve:

  • Using electronic traffic signals to guide traffic instead of persons standing by or manually changing signals. 
  • Use appropriate tools like traffic bollards, speed humps and traffic cones to direct and control access to locations and regulate traffic flows. 
  • Substitute machines for workers in high traffic environments. 

Traffic Isolation Control 

When it comes to minimising risks in a road traffic management plan, physical separation of traffic from workers, pedestrians, and others can be essential:

  • Keep vehicles apart via the use of barriers, traffic cones, overhead walkways, containment fences.
  • Optimise parking areas so they are located away from the main work site or hazard area. 
  • Ensure effective walkways are in place for workers or other pedestrians to travel between different areas of the job site. 

Engineering Solutions 

While some traffic control methods may involve more top-down planning, there are also more mechanical solutions – such as traffic control devices that should also be considered:

  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Installing warning lights on vehicles and machinery 
  • Audio and visual cues to assist workers understand a driver’s intentions

Implement your plan with the experts

You might be wondering where to start with getting a hold of the right equipment. Here at Image Extra, we are your premier security bollards supplier and can assist you in finding the right solution to implement the traffic management plan. From bollards to crowd control barriers and traffic cones, we stock the tools you need to ensure a safe and efficient job site. Get in contact with our team today for a quote.

Image Extra is the leading bollard supplier in Perth. With decades of experience, we pride ourselves in “Protecting Your Business”.