New technology a potential life saver

Published Saturday, 20 October, 2012 at 06:09 AM

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Scott Emerson

The Newman Government has announced a trial of new technology aimed at saving lives, by giving ambulance and fire vehicles a clear run of green traffic lights on route to an emergency.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson and Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey said the Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) system trial is expected to take place at Southport from mid-November.

“As an ambulance or fire engine approach a set of traffic lights with its lights and siren going, the EVP system detects the vehicle and changes the traffic light to green,” Mr Emerson said.

“If the vehicle changes course, the EVP system will adjust and clear the way on the new route.

“Every second matters in an emergency, and the precious extra minutes this will give paramedics and firefighters could save many lives.”

Mr Dempsey said a smaller EVP trial took place in Bundaberg in 2008 and showed emergency response time savings of up to 20 per cent.

“This new technology will help manage Queensland’s growing traffic congestion so officers and paramedics can respond to emergencies in the quickest possible time,” Mr Dempsey said.

“We want to be sure the emergency support systems used in Queensland are the best and safest available with results of the trial to be assessed next year.”

In the first six months of 2012 Queensland Ambulance Service provided 19,088 Code 1 responses on the Gold Coast, while Queensland Fire and Rescue Service responded to 3,114 incidents.

“This is a timely reminder to the community that if you see an emergency service vehicle coming behind you with its lights flashing and sirens on, move to the left and give way if it is safe to do so,” Mr Dempsey said.

“If you cannot safely do so, then slow down or stop and let the emergency vehicle overtake you.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the council was working with the State Government to implement the system and was installing the technology on council-owned traffic signals in Southport.

“The introduction of the trial will be accompanied by a public education campaign about the changes for Gold Coast pedestrians, motorists, school children and tourists,” Cr Tate said.

The active involvement of Fire, Ambulance and Police Services with Transport and Main Roads has been a contributing factor in the progress of this exciting initiative.

The trial is a cooperative venture between the State Government, Emergency Services, Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Police and along with the Gold Coast City Council.

[ENDS] 20 October 2012

Media contact: Minister Emerson – Stephanie Shield 0418 186 625

Minister Dempsey – Danny Donald 0439 719 116