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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas
    Minister for Emergency Services
    The Honourable Neil Roberts

    Green lights all the way for emergency vehicles during trial

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Minister for Emergency Services
    The Honourable Neil Roberts

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Green lights all the way for emergency vehicles during trial

    Emergency Services vehicles could be guaranteed green lights as they rush through traffic to save lives as part of an Australian first technology trial taking place in Queensland.

    Acting Premier Paul Lucas said a new way of managing traffic signals was being trialled in Bundaberg to ensure fire-fighters and ambulances had the safest and quickest route available to get to an incident.

    "The technology trial will involve testing software that can turn traffic signals green as an emergency vehicle approaches an intersection, resulting in fewer delays for the vehicles," he said.

    "Main Roads will first test the new technology in one of their vehicles this month.

    "In mid-October, test units will then be installed in one ambulance and one fire engine in Bundaberg to see if travel times to incidents are reduced as a result of the technology.

    “If the trial is successful we plan to roll it out to other cities."

    Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said it could often be very difficult for Emergency Services vehicles to navigate a path through traffic, due to increasing amounts of congestion and higher traffic volumes on Queensland roads.

    “This trial will let us know if this new technology has the ability to save some of the time that is spent waiting for traffic to move out of the path of fire and ambulance vehicles," he said.

    "In an emergency, time is crucial and every minute counts."

    All 11 traffic signals along Takalvan Street, Bourbong Street and Quay Street in Bundaberg will be fitted with communications equipment to give emergency vehicles priority service during the trial.

    The software has been designed to switch traffic signals to an emergency vehicle phase, in time to clear any traffic queue on the approach.

    Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt said it was crucial motorists were aware this trial was going on and continued to follow the road rules.

    "It is important that all road users obey the traffic signals at all times. We thank the community for their assistance during these trials," he said.

    “Everyone must continue to follow the traffic signals as they normally do, but be aware the operation of the signals could change from their usual patterns to allow emergency vehicles to progress through an intersection quickly.”

    Mr Pitt and Mr Roberts emphasised the need for motorists to understand the rules for traffic around emergency vehicles.

    "Safety on our roads is everyone's concern. We ask that road users please take care at all times," Mr Pitt said.

    Road rules relating to emergency vehicles and traffic signals are as follows:
    • Motorists must take care not to move into the path of an approaching emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing lights and/or sounding an alarm.
    • Motorists must give way to an emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing lights and/or sounding an alarm.
    • It is usual practice for emergency vehicles to slow down or stop before entering an intersection. Drivers must still give way to an emergency vehicle if it slows down or stops before entering the intersection.

    Media contacts: Mr Pitt’s Office 3227 8819; Mr Roberts’ Office - 3247 8194