Variable Message Sign Boards (VMS Boards)
VMS boards are one of the most effective ways of communicating specific information to road users. They are often used to present non-standard information around upcoming road layout or condition changes to inform road users of works prior to disruption.
VMS boards are extensively used in Australia, sometimes having multiple on the same site, as they provide site-specific information that can be modified quickly. The lights used are LED which ensures excellent visibility in most weather conditions.
The cost to hire VMS boards doesn’t need to be excessive either. In recent times, hireage fees have dropped considerably. This is seen through the increase in use across many worksites. VMS board hire is an excellent way to improve the message delivered to the public on dynamic work sites and events and reduce the level of disruption.
Temporary Traffic Signals
Temporary traffic signals have some fantastic benefits and replicate the same principles of Stop/Go operations (Manual Traffic Control). Using traffic lights instead of stop/go has 5 key improvements:
- Safer – as we don’t put people on the road in harm’s way,
- Cheaper – after just 1-day traffic lights cost less than stop/go operations,
- More visible – the artificial lights present in traffic lights are more visible,
- Less resource intensive – we don’t need as many people; and
- They don’t lose focus – stop/go can be challenging for traffic controllers to remain focused on long shifts
There are some very intelligent and very reliable traffic signal units on the market or for hire and these can greatly improve site safety, resource burden and cost – especially on longer-term sites.
Road Safety Barrier Systems
Safety Barriers are critical for protecting significant long-term hazards near the road. Its commonly assumed that road safety barriers are designed to protect workers. While this is an important benefit, it’s not the true reason for their use. Safety barrier systems are intended to redirect errant vehicles, to prevent them from coming into contact with hazards near the road.
Temporary barrier systems are placed around work sites, isolating the hazards and thereby protecting the road users. This reduces the likelihood of anyone coming into contact with these hazards and potentially significantly harming them self.
Another key purpose for road safety barriers is to reduce the severity of harm if someone did come in contact with hazards in the work site. For example, if a road user crashes into a barrier, the severity of injuries will be greatly reduced in comparison to crashing directly into a digger, or a trench. A well designed and correctly installed barrier system should prevent serious harm to road users and either redirect them or capture them to stop safely.
The New Zealand Transport Agency requires any person preparing or installing a road safety barrier system to be qualified on their Temporary Road Safety Barrier System Workshop (TRSBW). That person then needs to be qualified to install the specific barrier system they are working with by the manufacturer or supplier in addition to normal traffic control training.
Barrier systems are not always an appropriate method of protection and require specific design to ensure they are appropriate and going to do their job. Its important barrier design is done by suitably qualified and experienced people to ensure when installed, they work.
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