A comparison of the design methodology for temporary traffic control between Australia and South Africa

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: With the continued reliance on road networks for mobility needs across the globe, it is inevitable that there is an overlap of maintenance works and the usage of roads. This means that there are always instances where road construction workers are interacting with live traffic conditions. It has been proven that road construction sites pose a significantly higher safety risk to road workers and road users alike. This increase in risk is attributed to several factors that will be discussed in this thesis. Road signs (and traffic control devices) have been informing road users of impending road conditions for many decades. The primary objective for road signs is to communicate a message to the road user in a clear and simple manner. With the increase in road works, which are temporary in nature, there arose a need for Temporary Traffic Control to inform road users of temporarily changed conditions within the greater road network and signage system. With the increased risk factor at road construction sites, it is a logical conclusion that Temporary Traffic Control should mitigate this risk by providing road users clear and applicable instructions about changed conditions. It can further be assumed that this increase in risk warrants a rigorous design process to ensure the safety of all road workers and users. The increased risk at road construction sites is easy to identify but hard to quantify. This can be attributed to the lack of crash data collection within road construction sites. This lack of accurate data is evident throughout most countries, including the two countries being the subject of this thesis: Australia and South Africa. Within both countries the crash statistics for road construction sites are aggregated within the country wide road crash statistics. The aim of this thesis is to compare the implementation of Temporary Traffic Control between Australia and South Africa. As there is no directly comparable metric, in the form of road construction site crash statistics, recorded in either country, an alternative qualitative approach was taken. The implemented approach was to compare relatable metrics between the two countries as the road rules of both countries were founded in the same system. The researcher has the privilege of experience in both countries and is therefore in a position to lend practical experience to the comparison. The comparable metrics are discussed in detail after considering the design approach to Temporary Traffic Control for each country. The main conclusion from the comparative metrics is that Australian roads are much safer than South African roads for both road workers and road users. The higher risk on roads in South Africa is then compounded by the increased risk associated with road construction sites and it can be expected that South Africa takes greater care in the design of Temporary Traffic Control. However, this thesis concludes that this is not the case. The Australian approach to Temporary Traffic Control is far more intricate and rigorous than the South African practice. It is therefore recommended that the South African Temporary Traffic Control methodology be reviewed and several aspects of the Australian methodology incorporated to mitigate the risk associated with road construction works.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming beskikbaar
Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.
Road Signs, UCTD, Traffic Control, Traffic safety