SMC contract featuring two on-site workers at night

With up to 50 traffic controllers per day working on projects across the network that our VBA team are responsible for - a recent safety initiative is a big step toward improved worker safety.

Through delivery of the Stewardship Maintenance Contract (SMC), Program Director James Bennet and his team deliver improvement and maintenance services to a region which includes 1,000km of roads, and stretches from the south of Sydney's metropolitan district to the Sutherland National Park.

Traffic management safety program

The majority of the projects the team delivers involves the use of traffic controllers, who are a key part of the team who improve, maintain, repair, inspect and manage the assets under our stewardship.

At VBA we have a firm goal to get Traffic Controllers out of harm's way by the end of 2020',  James says.

"Essentially this means removing them from the current process of 'Stop Slow' in favour of using technology that they can control from a place of safety."

The first step in this traffic management safety program involves deployment of digital 'Your Speed' signs to encourage road users to slow down.

Road safety speed sign at night

Under the leadership of Rob Zrillic, the VBA Pavement team have been leading the way, and these signs were recently trialed on the Gardeners Rd Pavements Rehabilitation project in Daceyville. They encourage motorists to slow down and help create a safer environment for workers and customers driving through the works

We are also able to review data collected by the signs, to track compliance. On one trial shift, the sign recorded 551 vehicles passing through the work site with 23 vehicles recorded as traveling over 40km/h. That is a significant reduction in the expected number of speed violators, and we expect continued compliance as motorists get familiar with these signs. 

It is planned that these signs will be standard across all VBA projects. The roll out of these and similar innovations is happening at a steady pace to ensure a smooth and safe transition from the current methods of traffic calming and control. 

"We need to make sure everyone understands best practice use of these signs," James says. "Once everyone is comfortable with their operation, we'll aim to make them standard on all project sites."

Industry-wide safety solutions

VBA Traffic Manager Sean Conneely has many years' experience in the Traffic Management industry and says he's passionate about seeing an industry-wide solution to the management of safety and welfare of traffic controllers. 

"We now have the technology to avoid having a traffic controller stand in the line of a travelling vehicle," Sean says. "We want everyone to get home safely at the end of their shift and minimise the risks associated with working in live traffic, and this is a great place to start."

For more information on our VBA and the Stewardship Maintenance Contract, click here.