Stop-Go: Controlling the dangers at roadworks

January 21, 2014
Stop-Go: Controlling the dangers at roadworks
QUT researcher Ross Blackman is looking for participants to take part in a survey on driving through roadwork sites.

How fast should you drive through a roadwork zone? Have your say as part of a new QUT study looking at driver behaviour and experience around roadwork sites.

Dr Ross Blackman, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q), said roadworks were often a cause of frustration to drivers and posed a significant danger to motorists and road workers.

"This study is about pinpointing driver reactions to work zone hazards," Dr Blackman said.

"We suspect the environment at roadwork sites has an influence on how people drive through these areas," he said.

"For example we want to know whether lower speed limits, roadwork equipment or delays impact the way drivers navigate roadwork sites."

Dr Blackman said understanding the driver experience at roadwork sites was vital to providing a safe working environment for employees.

"Roadwork sites are a dangerous place due to the presence of many hazards including heavy machinery, adverse environmental conditions and moving vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

"Ideally roadwork sites should be as safe as any other road environment but we know this is not the case," he said.

"Roadwork sites have high crash rates and there have been numerous fatalities at roadwork sites in Queensland and these have involved workers and public road users."

Dr Blackman said as a result of widespread flooding across the state, extensive roadwork projects were being carried out on Queensland roads.

"Roadworks are a fact of life, particularly in a state like Queensland where a large road network is required to service a relatively small population and extreme weather events are relatively frequent," Dr Blackman said.

"Road users benefit in the long term from better and more sustainable roads, while in the short term the necessary work may cause inconvenience and frustration."

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