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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Main Roads
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    New accreditation measures first part of roadwork safety review

    Minister for Main Roads
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    New accreditation measures first part of roadwork safety review

    Changes to the way road traffic controllers are accredited will form the first major component of a comprehensive roadwork safety review, Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said today.

    Mr Wallace said the Department of Transport and Main Roads would introduce a registration system for all traffic management companies working on state-controlled roads.

    “Like everyone else, I’ve seen the stories about backpackers and overseas students doing a quick training course and getting out on the road as a traffic controller,” Mr Wallace said.

    “And that’s why I was determined that we’d have a serious look at this issue.

    “This will be a big boost to safety and it will help ensure consistency within the traffic management industry.”

    The Traffic Management Association of Queensland estimates there are about 100 traffic management companies in Queensland, with approximately 27,000 licensed traffic controllers.

    Mr Wallace said the new registration system was for traffic management companies and was in addition to the existing requirement for individual traffic controllers to be licensed.

    “This new system will require traffic management companies to demonstrate safety, quality and consistency within their organisational processes,” Mr Wallace said.

    “It will also focus on factors including: financial stability; occupational health and safety; industrial relations; and appropriate training of the workforce.

    “Traffic management companies will be regularly audited by the department and may be de-registered if they are performing poorly.”

    Mr Wallace said implementation of the new registration system would begin immediately and by early next year only registered traffic management companies would be permitted to work on state-controlled roads.

    “While this registration system does not cover work done on local government roads, I encourage councils to use these registered traffic management companies.”

    Mr Wallace announced a wide-ranging review last month, including examining signage and speed limits around road works, compliance with existing signage rules and for smarter use of electronic signage.

    “We’re spending $18 billion on road works over the next five years, so there’s going to be some disruption,” Mr Wallace said.

    “But we must make sure any disruption is minimised as much as possible and we get the best protection we can for workers out on the road.”

    Between July 2003 and March 2008 there were six deaths and 22 serious injuries in Queensland related to roadwork and civil construction. The most obvious hazards to these workers are being hit by passing traffic and heavy roadwork equipment.

    “But it’s not just workers who are at risk,” Mr Wallace said.

    “From 2000 to 2005 there were an average of 430 crashes a year where roadworks were one contributing factor.

    “While we’ve come a long way over the last few decades with better site planning, better signage and better physical protection for workers, there’s still more we can do.”

    The full roadwork safety review is expected to be complete mid-year.

    Media contact: Minister Wallace’s office 3896 3689